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127 384 


(Drawn from a photograph) 


*Jhe journal of 'Kate Stone 


Edited by 

Baton Rouge 

Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 557363 




The manuscript of the Journal of Kate Stone, now in my 
possession, exists in two large ledger books into which Kate 
Stone Holmes copied it, without evident revision, in 1900. 
The Journal contains regular entries dating from May, 1861, 
to November, 1865, with summary sketches written in 1867 
and 1868. The few omissions from the manuscript are indi- 
cated by ellipses. The introduction to the Journal which Mrs. 
Holmes wrote at the time she recopied the manuscript is 
included as " In Retrospect." 

The Journal is here presented as nearly as possible in the 
form in which it was written, although certain emendations 
were made in order to make the text more readable. Spelling 
was made to conform to modern practice, with the exception 
of such words as " cosy/ 3 " grey," " necessaries," and " eat- 
ables " which were retained for their historical flavor. Punc- 
tuation was supplied where necessary to present the author's 
text clearly. Abbreviations, especially frequent in names for 
which the author often used initials only, were spelled out. 
Capitalization was modernized, except for important words 
such as Cause, Government, Nature, and Heaven which the 
author wished to emphasize. A very few additions of words 
were made; incomplete sentences, so characteristic of diaries, 
were completed by addition of subject, verb, or connective 
when the sense would otherwise not be clear. When the 
author herself is obviously the subject, no change was made. 
In a few instances, grammatical structures were altered to 
avoid misreading. The author's use of plural verbs with col- 
lective nouns, such as " the company were," was retained, as 
well as such colloquialisms as " we all," " ordered off," " foot 
up," and " have holiday." 

Dates of entries were verified and corrected occasionally 
when the author, often without a calendar, was uncertain. 



Proper names, some of which were spelled several ways, were 
verified by United States Census reports and other records; 
when such verification was impossible, the most frequent 
spelling was adopted. 

Finally, explanatory notes concerning the military, per- 
sons, books, and places were provided in order to present the 
Journal in its proper setting, though these comments are 
neither exhaustive nor definitive. 

I wish to express my appreciation to Miss Amy J. Holmes 
of Tallulah, Louisiana, daughter of Kate Stone Holmes, for 
permitting me to prepare her mother's Journal for publica- 
tion. Francis M. Ward and Mrs. Minnie Spann Murphy, 
local historians of Tallulah, were helpful. My gratitude is 
deep and abiding to my wife, Loraine Epps Anderson, whose 
transcription of the manuscript and typing of the copy made 
this book possible. 

J. Q. A. 

Table of Contents 

Preface vii 

Introduction xi 

In Retrospect 3 

1861 : " Our Cause is just " 13 

1862: " These troublous times " 77 

1863: " Strangers in a strange land " 167 

1864: " Disaster and despair " 271 

1865: " The darkest hour " 311 

1867: " The burden of defeat w 368 

1868: " The outlook is brighter " 875 

Index 379 



The Journal of Kate Stone vividly records the Civil War 
experiences of a well-educated, sensitive, patriotic Southern 
girl who was twenty years old when the war began and who 
was living with her widowed mother, five brothers, and a 
young sister at Brokenburn, a large cotton plantation in 
northeast Louisiana, about thirty miles northwest of Vicks- 
burg, Mississippi. Located in what is now Madison Parish 
in the floodplain of the Mississippi, Brokenburn lay in the 
fertile, flat land created by centuries of overflow. Opened to 
settlement in 1839, the rich land had attracted many planters 
from Mississippi and the eastern cotton states. The Missis- 
sippi and the many navigable bayous provided landings for 
steamboats to bring in supplies and haul away the cotton. 

Throughout the 1840's and 1850's plantations were opened 
each year by clearing away the dense forest. Since more 
cotton meant more slaves, great numbers were brought in 
from the east and from the slave market in New Orleans, 
where prime field hands brought $800 to $1,200, and of the 
11,156 people in Madison Parish by 1859, 9,863 were slaves 
nine Negroes to every white person. Huge fortunes were 
made by some planters in a few years; mansions were built 
and filled with imported furnishings; and many planters 
made the European grand tour. 

Like other planters in the area, Kate's mother, thirty- 
seven-year-old Amanda Stone, reckoned her large fortune in 
land, cotton, and slaves. She owned 1,260 acres of the pro- 
ductive black soil and about 150 slaves. She provided a tutor 
for her children and planned a European tour for 1862. 

Against this typical antebellum background the first part 
of Kate Stone's story takes place. Aware that she was living 
in a momentous time, Kate began her Journal in May, 1861, 
when many young men from northeast Louisiana, anxious to 
get in the fight before it was over, were rushing to join 



Mississippi companies in Vicksburg, as did Kate's Uncle Bo 
and her brother William. With a vivid imagination filled 
with the romances of Sir Walter Scott, " The Prince of 
Novelists/' Kate shared the widespread belief of Southerners 
that the war would be an outing for dashing young officers 
in splendid uniforms, inspired to deeds of valor by patriotic 
maidens. In the following months, she recorded the attitude 
of the civilians at home in Madison and Carroll parishes, 
who, anxious as they were for the safety of their soldiers, 
nevertheless felt that the battles at insignificant towns in 
Virginia, Tennessee, and Missouri were far away. Even the 
military reverses of the first year, which Kate avidly fol- 
lowed in the newspapers, did not cool her ardor or convince 
her that Southern arms could not triumph in " our just 
Cause/' though she had to admit that the war might well 
last longer than she had anticipated. 

Kate's optimism turned to fierce hatred of the enemy when 
the war moved close to northeast Louisiana in 1862. She 
reported the fall of the river forts in Kentucky, Tennessee, 
and Missouri, which left the northern approach to Vicksburg 
open, and she loathed the sight of the Federal gunboats that 
appeared in the Mississippi only a few miles from Broken- 
burn in 1862. At the same time, the southern approach to 
Vicksburg via the river was opened by the fall of the forts 
at the mouth of the Mississippi and by the surrender of New 
Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Natchez in quick succession, 
much to Kate's despair. " Fair Louisiana/' she cried, " with 
her fertile fields of cane and cotton, her many bayous and 
dark old forests, lies powerless at the feet of the enemy/* 

With the enemy at the door and with the enlisting of her 
teen-age brothers, Coleman and Walter, Kate's anger struck 
out on the one hand at the " fireside braves," as she called 
those who had not volunteered, and on the other at the 
detested Yankee gunboats which had cut off letters from her 
soldier brothers and news of the outside world. She was 
angry, too, at the waste of war when her mother, along with 
other planters, set fire to their cotton at the request of Gen- 
eral Beauregard. Kate saw $20,000 worth of cotton destroyed 
at Brokenburn. Moreover, plagued by shortages of staples, 


clothing, medicines, and reading matter (a serious shortage 
for Kate) , she listened anxiously to the cannonading at 
Vicksburg as the Federal gunboats attempted to run the 
Confederate batteries. 

Kate watched with futile rage as the two jaws of the great 
pincers aimed at cutting the Confederacy in half threatened 
to close on Vicksburg in the summer of 1862. Federal troops 
landed in Madison Parish directly opposite Vicksburg, intent 
on cutting a canal across the peninsula in front of the city 
which would allow boats to pass out of range of the Con- 
federate batteries; Federal armies in northern Mississippi 
threatened the city from the rear. Vicksburg seemed doomed 
to the fate of the other river ports. That fate, however, was 
miraculously delayed: the canal was a failure; the Confed- 
erate ram Arkansas briefly menaced the Federal fleet; the 
Confederate batteries on the Vicksburg bluff could not be 
silenced; and the land force north of the city failed to move 
in for the kill. Thus the " Queen City of the Bluff " evaded 
siege during the summer and fall of 1862. 

The respite was brief, however. While Kate was entertain- 
ing Confederate officers at Brokenburn on Christmas Eve, 
General William T. Sherman with 30,000 men arrived at 
Milliken's Bend, only a few miles away. The small Confeder- 
ate garrison scattered inland. Then, in January, 1863, Gen- 
eral II. S. Grant assumed command of the augmented Federal 
force which was soon strung out for sixty miles along the 
western bank of the Mississippi above Vicksburg. While 
Grant and his Generals devised strategy to bypass Vicks- 
burg, Federal foraging parties swarmed over the Brokenburn 
neighborhood, confiscating horses and supplies, seizing slaves 
to work on new canals, and encouraging other Negroes to 
leave their masters. 

The Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department was so 
depleted of troops by constant transfers to the eastern front 
that no force was available to oppose the Federal army 
menacing Vicksburg. Furthermore, all able-bodied Southern 
men had long since joined the army, and the civilian popu- 
lation was entirely at the mercy of the enemy. On March 15, 
1863, Kate voiced the terror of the people: 


For the last two days we have been in a quiver of anxiety 
looking for the Yankees every minute, sitting on the front 
gallery with our eyes strained in the direction they will 
come, going to bed late and getting up early so they will 
not find us asleep. 

A few days later they came. On March 22, two Federal 
soldiers rode into the yard, seized Kate's beautiful horse 
(which had until that day been hidden in the swamp) , and 
rode away. Two days later she wrote: 

The life we are leading now is a miserable, frightened one 
living in constant dread of great danger, not knowing what 
form it may take, and utterly helpless to protect ourselves. 
It is a painful present and a dark future with the wearing 
anxiety and suspense about our loved ones. 

But worse came. While visiting a neighbor, Kate, Little 
Sister, and several other women were herded into one room 
by an armed slave and held at the point of a gun while other 
Negroes rifled the house. The horror of this incident con- 
vinced Kate's mother that the family must flee, though 
Federal authorities had forbidden the planters to leave. 

The flight from Brokenburn was almost as hazardous as 
the staying, a flight which ended in Texas and which became 
an exile of two and one-half years. At midnight on a moon- 
less March night, the party of seven Kate, Mamma, Little 
Sister, the boys Jimmy and Johnny, Aunt Laura, her four- 
year-old daughter Beverly, and two servants set off west- 
ward on horseback into the swamp. The country was flooded 
because the Yankees had cut the levees, and the horses 
floundered through the dim trails, with Aunt Laura, who had 
never ridden a horse before, loudly complaining until warned 
that her noise would bring the Negroes or Yankees down 
upon them. At daylight they reached a bayou, piled into a 
frail skiff, and rowed into deep water just as pursuing Federal 
soldiers appeared on the shore behind them. Crowded into a 
leaking boat, they rowed through the treacherous bayous 
with one of the boys and a servant sick with fever. 

The bedraggled party finally reached Delhi, Louisiana, a 
stop on the railroad running west to Monroe, with only the 


clothes they had on their backs, having lost all their baggage 
in the swamp. At Delhi they found the chaos of a fleeing 
countryside; "... everybody and everything/' Kate said, 
" trying to get on the cars, all fleeing from the Yankees or 
worse still, the Negroes." Despite the confusion, the Stones 
finally got on the train and reached Monroe, eighty miles 
inland from the Mississippi. There they spent seven weeks 
before they continued their trek to Texas. To add to their 
despair, news came of the death of Brother Walter in Missis- 
sippi two months earlier. 

Meanwhile, the Federal army on the Mississippi was busy 
attempting to cut canals from the river into the network of 
bayous running roughly parallel to the river, in order to by- 
pass the batteries on the Vicksburg bluff. By April, however, 
General Grant was convinced that the projected canals were 
not feasible, and he ordered the army south across Madison 
Parish to a point below Vicksburg. After crossing the Mis- 
sissippi, the army swept over town after town, including 
Jackson, the capital, and moved up behind Vicksburg to 
begin the long-threatened siege. The Confederate garrison 
stood off the Federal force for approximately fifty days, 
existing in the last days of the siege on pea meal and mule 
meat. Finally, Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863, leav- 
ing the entire Mississippi River in Federal hands. The terrible 
price of that victory is still evident in the more than 16,000 
graves in the Vicksburg National Cemetery. 

Though the Federal army moved east of the Mississippi in 
April, the Brokenburn neighborhood was not free of the 
enemy. The force which Grant left behind to maintain hos- 
pitals and convalescent camps continued unmolested until 
June, 1863, when Confederate General John G. Walker's 
Division, moving up from central Louisiana, surprised the 
white and Negro troops at Milliken's Bend and inflicted 
heavy losses. Grant promptly reinforced the garrison at Mil- 
liken's Bend and the Confederates withdrew inland. Madi- 
son Parish remained almost entirely in Federal hands until 
the end of the war, despite sporadic guerrilla opposition. 


The second part of Kate Stone's story takes place in 
Texas. After a trying journey of several weeks in a rickety 
" Jersey " wagon, the Stones, less Aunt Laura and Beverly 
who returned to Vicksburg from Monroe, arrived in July, 
1863, in Lamar County, to which Mrs. Stone had sent her 
overseer and 130 slaves a few weeks before. The primitive 
log cabins, unshaven men, hoop-skirted but barefooted women 
of Lamar County convinced Kate that they had indeed 
reached " the dark corner of the Confederacy." With the 
acrimony of a modern critic of the state, she noted, " There 
must be something in the air of Texas fatal to beauty." The 
sparsely settled area, bordering on Indian Territory, seemed 
hardly safer than the plantation from which they had fled. 
Worst of all, however, were the Union sympathizers and some 
natives who called the numerous Louisiana refugees " rene- 
gades/' Kate exclaimed that she would not die in Texas 
because she could not think of being buried in such un- 
friendly soil. 

To add to the burden of these annoyances, news finally 
reached her of the fall of Vicksburg and on the Fourth of 
July at that. Even heavier to bear was the long-delayed 
report of Brother Coley's death in Clinton, Mississippi, the 
second brother to die for the Cause. After that, Kate, always 
so eager for news, hated receiving letters since they almost 
invariably brought tidings of the death of relatives or friends. 

Late in 1863 the Stones moved to Tyler, which Kate found 
more " civilized " than Lamar County. Again the detested 
Yankees were nearby but securely held as prisoners in the 
stockade at Camp Ford, a few miles from town. Kate, quite 
naturally, could not keep from gloating, though she almost 
as frequently sympathized with their wretchedness. The 
refuge in Tyler seemed threatened, however, in the spring of 
1864 when a large Federal force under General N. P. Banks 
moved up the Red River, intent on capturing Shreveport, 
headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department, and Mar- 
shall, Texas, an important administrative and supply center. 
Confederate troops under General Richard Taylor ended 
such Federal hopes at the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant 
Hill, Louisiana, in April, and eventually forced the enemy to 


retreat to the Mississippi. Kate became almost hysterical 
with praise of Southern strategy as she saw the blue-coated 
prisoners swell the overcrowded stockade at Camp Ford. 

The large number of Louisiana refugees in the Tyler area, 
including the old neighbors, the Savages and the Carsons, 
made daily life and Texas more endurable. Refugees, 
army officers, government officials, and local citizens gathered 
at Mrs. Stone's hospitable house and amused themselves 
with amateur theatricals while the war dragged into the 
disastrous spring of 1865. Kate compared the group to the 
aristocrats of France during the last days of the Revolution; 
" Monday/' she wrote, " it was distressing to see the gloom 
on every face ... all seemed in the depth of despair, could 
think and talk of nothing but defeat and disaster." The 
crushing news of Lee's surrender had at last reached Texas, 
but the hope of a last stand west of the Mississippi glowed 
briefly. Kate refused to think of defeat, but at times she 

Conquered, Submission, Subjugation are words that burn 
into my heart, and yet I feel that we are doomed to know 
them in all their bitterness. . . . And Nature smiles down 
on all this wretchedness. 

The eventual confirmation of Lee's surrender, the final and 
irrevocable acceptance of defeat, the chaotic aftermath of 
robbing, pillaging, and murder in the death pangs of the 
Confederacy all these find despairing utterance in Kate's 
Journal in April and May of 1865. 

There was but one bright spot in the darkness Lt. Henry 
Bry Holmes, who had called on her every day for three 
months but who had not yet sufficiently " reformed " to be- 
come her husband, drove away to Louisiana with a " token," 
a geranium leaf, the mate of which Kate kept. The token 
proved a magic charm, for they were married eventually. 

Though the Cause was lost and though the handsome lieu- 
tenant was gone, life had to go on, even under the detested 
" Yankee masters." Admitting that the last year in Texas 
had been the most pleasant in her life, Kate returned to 
Louisiana with her family in the fall of 1865. Headed by the 


dauntless Amanda and Brother William (who was in Lee's 
army at the surrender) , the cavalcade included all the freed 
Negroes who wished to go, as most of them did. The fertile 
fields of Brokenburn they found overflowed and rank with 
weeds; there followed two years of struggle against overflow, 
cotton worms, crop failure, a new and expensive Negro labor 
system, and no money. Kate's experience with death and 
disaster had prepared her for such emergencies, and the 
Journal ends, a year before she married Henry Bry Holmes, 
on a realistic but not unhopeful note. 

Out of the Journal there emerges a picture of Kate Stone, 
who described herself thus, " I am tall, not quite five feet 
six, a shy, quiet manner, and talk but little." Stating once 
that she considered herself ugly, Kate nevertheless had a 
mind that made up for her fancied lack of physical beauty. 
She was an avid and critical reader. Of the more than thirty 
authors mentioned, her favorites were Shakespeare and Sir 
Walter Scott. She was almost reconciled to Texas when she 
was able to obtain a volume of Shakespeare at fourteen 
dollars. She also read Jeremy Taylor, Charles Lamb, Victor 
Hugo, Bulwer-Lytton, Thackeray, Tennyson, Poe, and Haw- 
thorne. When other reading matter was not available, she 
turned to magazines and such popular novelists as Wilkie 
Collins, Mary Jane Holmes, Elizabeth Braddon, and Rhoda 

She had a sense of humor that sometimes sparkled in her 
characterization of people . She was both annoyed and amused 
by the contrast between people of her own class and the 
frontiersmen in Texas. In graphic detail, she pictured dress 
and manners at backwoods protracted meetings. Almost 
fanatically patriotic, she was impatient with those less zeal- 
ous for the Cause, and the collapse of the Confederacy was 
to her a personal blow. The personality of Kate Stone 
matured in the crucible of war, but it did not lose its basic 
idealistic, religious, and sensitive characteristics. 

Kate Stone's impulse to write down important events for 
posterity led her, as it does most diarists, to record a great 
deal besides. Her accounts of life in the Brokenburn neighbor- 


hood and later in Texas add significant details to the social 
history of prewar Southern society, and reveal a way of life 
that is no more. Her remarks on clothing, feeding, and pro- 
viding medical care for the slaves, and on plantation manage- 
ment are important information for the student of planta- 
tion economy. Her record of books read and discussed with 
her friends is of interest to the literary historian. Her com- 
ments on military operations, especially those in the Vicks- 
burg area, contribute to the knowledge of that important 

But more important than all these is the human element in 
this unusual personal record, for Kate's interest in people 
enabled her to characterize deftly the people she knew inti- 
mately, such as the matchmaking Mrs. Savage and the mer- 
curial Mrs. Carson. Mrs. Carson will not compromise with 
war and will go out driving in her carriage in Tyler as she 
had always done at home. Mrs. Savage goes right on with 
her matchmaking, merely changing pawns from eligible young 
planters to eligible young officers, and from crinoline-clad 
belles to young ladies in made-over dresses. A host of most 
interesting individuals appear and reappear in the Journal 
so that one comes to know them well. 

The Journal of Kate Stone is, therefore, an epitome of the 
romance, reality, and tragedy of America's most dramatic 
conflict. It records the rosy optimism in the beginning; the 
dogged determination as war brought shortages, defeat, and 
death; the hazardous flight of women and children before 
invading armies and their plight as refugees; the death 
struggle of the Confederacy; the bitter acknowledgement of 
defeat and the return to a devastated homeland; and finally 
the struggle against poverty after the war. 

Above all, the Journal reveals the resentment of an admir- 
able young woman of the ancient dictum that woman's part 
in war is to watch and wait, her discovery of love amid the 
ruins of her country, and finally her acceptance of the defeat 
without cynicism. 

Of the many people mentioned in the Journal., those mem- 
bers of the family and intimate friends who appear most 
frequently include: 


AMANDA SUSAN RAGAN STONE (" Mamma ") , daughter of 
John Ragan (" Other Pa ") and widow of William Patrick 
Stone, who died December 6, 1855, at Stonington Plantation, 
Delta, Louisiana. Amanda, thirty-seven in 1861, was the 
mother of ten children, three of whom had died before 1861. 
She died in Tallulah, Louisiana, in 1892. 

WILLIAM R. STONE (" My Brother ") , twenty-one in 1861, 
enlisted in the Jeff Davis Guards, Vicksburg, May, 1861; 
served with the Army of Virginia throughout the war and 
was twice wounded; paroled with the rank of captain in 1865. 
He died at Omega, Louisiana, about 1882, leaving a wife and 
one son. 

COLEMAN STONE (" Brother Coley ") , seventeen in 1861, 
joined the 28th Mississippi in March, 1862; died from injuries 
received in line of duty at Clinton, Mississippi, September, 

WALTER STONE ("Brother Walter ") , sixteen in 1861, 
joined the 28th Mississippi in September, 1862; died of fever 
at Cotton Gin, Mississippi, in May, 1863. 

JAMES A. STONE (" Jimmy ") , fourteen in 1861, joined Har- 
rison's Brigade in Monroe, Louisiana, in August, 1864; died 
of yellow fever in Tallulah in 1905, leaving three children. 

JOHN B. STONE (" Johnny ") , thirteen in 1861; practiced 
law in Tallulah and died there in 1930. 

AMANDA REBECCA STONE (" Little Sister ") , eleven in 
1861; never married and died in Tallulah in 1934. 

BOHANAN RAGAN ("Uncle Bo"), Mrs. Stone's brother 
who lived with the Stones; about twenty-two in 1861; en- 
listed in the Volunteer Southrons [sic], Vicksburg, May, 1861; 
served in Virginia throughout the war. 

ASHBURN RAGAN, Mrs. Stone's youngest brother who also 
lived with the Stones; at eighteen died of fever at Broken- 
burn in 1861. 

ALBERT B. NEWTON, native of Mississippi, tutor to the 
Stone children. 

LAURA RAGAN BUCKNER (" Aunt Laura ") , Mrs. Stone's 
sister; wife of Dr. Beverly Buckner, owner of a drugstore in 


Vicksburg and of Winn Forest Plantation near Brokenburn, 
captain in the 28th Mississippi. Their daughter Beverly died 
in 1864 at about four years of age. Aunt Laura died at 
Bladen Springs, Alabama, in 1864. 

SARAH RAGAN MILLER ("Aunt Sarah ") , Mrs. Stone's 
sister, wife of Capt. Horace Miller, lawyer of Vicksburg. 
Their children, Horace and Jesse, died during the war. 

about Kate's age, lived in Memphis. 

JOHN RAGAN (" Uncle Johnny ") , Mrs. Stone's oldest 
brother, newspaper editor in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1861. 

CARSON, James G., planter and physician, and his wife, 
Catherine B., parents of Joseph, William, Jimmy, Edward, 
and Katie. 

SAVAGE, Mrs. Elizabeth, owner of Salem Plantation, whose 
family included Anna B. Dobbs, Emily and Robert Norris, 
Anna Nicholson, Charles Dobbs, young minister, and Albert 
A. Kaiser (variously spelled as Kiser, Kayson, and Kaysor) , 
Hungarian refugee, tutor to the children. 

HARBISON, Benjamin and Mary, parents of George, Henry, 
Benjamin, Laura, Julia, Zacheniah, and Lou. 

VALENTINE, Mark, Sr., widower, owner of Oasis Plantation, 
and his son, Mark, Jr. 

AMIS, Mrs. Henrietta, widow, mother of Emmett and 
Annie, owner of Fortune's Fork Plantation, near Richmond, 

And finally, SARAH KATHERINE STONE (" Kate ") twenty 
years old in 1861, was born at Mississippi Springs, Hinds 
County, Mississippi, January 8, 1841. Before 1855 she 
moved with her parents to Stonington Plantation near Delta, 
Louisiana. She married Henry Bry Holmes (Lt. Holmes of 
the Journal) at Walton Bend Plantation, home of her brother 
William, near Yazoo City, Mississippi, December 8, 1869. 
To them were born four children Emmet, who died in 
1878; William, once district attorney in Tallulah, who died 
in 1944; and twins, Kate Bry, who died in infancy, and 


Amanda Julia, who now lives in Tallulah. Kate Stone 
Holmes was a leader in the civic, social, cultural, and religious 
life of Tallulah for many years. She was the founder of the 
Madison Infantry Chapter of the United Daughters of the 
Confederacy, aided in the organization of the Madison Parish 
Book Club, and was instrumental in having a Confederate 
memorial erected on the courthouse square in Tallulah. She 
died December 28, 1907, in Tallulah, one of the town's most 
esteemed citizens. 


Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College 
January, 1955 


Jhe journal of 1K.ate Stone 


In looking over the yellowing pages and faded writing of 
my old diary written in the troubled years from 1861 to 1865, 
how the old life comes back, the gay, busy life of the plan- 
tation at Brokenburn with Mamma, a beautiful, brilliant 
woman of thirty-seven at the head of it all. Having been left 
a widow six years before with eight children and a heavily 
involved estate, she had managed so well that she was now 
the owner of a handsome property on which the crop of 1861 
would pay off the last indebtedness. What a large houseful 
we were! Brother Will, a young man of twenty, had left 
school two years before, tired of college life and anxious to 
take charge of the place then just bought. I, fifteen months 
younger, had graduated at Dr. Elliott's Academy in Nash- 
ville and was of course the much indulged young lady of the 
house. The other children were being fitted for college at 
home under the care of a tutor to whom they were much 
devoted. Mr. Newton had been with us for two years, and 
we imagined would be with us until the last of the five boys 
was ready for school. Brother Coley and Ashburn Ragan, 
Mamma's young brother who lived with us boys about the 
same age expected to enter the University of Virginia in the 
fall and were studying hard to be able to enter the junior 
class. Living with us also, was Mamma's older brother, 
Bo[hanan] Ragan, the happiest, most carefree young man in 
three states gay, rollicking, fond of pleasure, generous to a 
fault, without a care in the world. On the death of his mother 
a few years before when the old homestead had been sold, he 
had come to live with us, putting all his property in Mam- 
ma's hands and not allowing any settlement at the close of 
the year, only asking that his bills be paid. Fortunately, the 
price of his Negroes brought in plenty for his spending and 
the giving of many handsome gifts. Never a girl had a more 
generous, loving uncle than he had been to me. Last of all 



was Little Sister, a child of nine, the pet and plaything of the 
house. And coming and going all the time were the friends 
and relatives, for the people of those times were a sociable 
folk and the ties of kindness were closely drawn. 

There were usually girls visiting me and young men visit- 
ing my brothers; and as we lived in a populous neighborhood, 
for the swamp, there was always something going on formal 
dining, informal " spend the days," evening parties, riding 
frolics and in the grey of the morning great squads of 
hunters starting out with their packs of hounds baying, 
blowing of horns, and stamping and racing of horses. 

Brokenburn was a newly opened place when Mamma 
bought it. There were some cabins but no residence, but a 
sawmill had soon been built in connection with the gin, 
lumber sawed, and cabins and house went up in rapid order. 
The house, a long, eight-room affair with long galleries and 
two halls, was expected to be only a temporary shelter until 
the place should be well cleared and in good working order; 
then would be built in the large grove of native water oak, 
sweet gum, and sycamore, a house that would be a pride 
and pleasure to us all. 

Looking out from the side gallery across the wide grassy 
yard through the trees and wild vines that had been spared 
when the place was cleared for building, one could see the 
two long rows of cabins facing each other across a broad 
sweep of thick Bermuda grass, set with an occasional great 
tree, grey in the winter with long festoons of moss. Leading 
from each door was a little, crooked white path, ending at 
the road down the middle of the grass plot, beaten smooth 
by the march of the many black feet that journeyed over it 
in the early dawn, the weary, hot noonday, and the welcome 
dusk. Loth to go out in the sunrise for the weary hours of 
plowing, hoeing, clearing land, and long days of cotton 
picking in the lovely fall weather, the Negroes really seemed 
to like the cotton picking best of all. Nearly every picker 
would be racing with some other rival or friend, and at the 
great windup there were generally prizes for those who 
headed the list money for the men and gay dresses for the 
women. It was no uncommon thing for the " boss pickers " 


to pick five or six hundred pounds each day for maybe a 
week at a time. (Now, in these times of leisure and ease, 
two hundred pounds is considered good work.) 

Facing the cabins in a grove of trees was the overseer's 
four-room log house, rough but substantial. Many an occu- 
pant for it came and went. Some were too severe on the 
Negroes; others allowed them to idle away the time, the crop 
suffering in consequence; some were dishonest and lazy. Al- 
together it was a difficult position to fill satisfactorily. The 
men were a coarse, uncultivated class, knowing little more 
than to read and write; brutified by their employment, they 
were considered by the South but little better than the Ne- 
groes they managed. Neither they nor their families were 
ever invited to any of the entertainments given by the plan- 
ters, except some large function, such as a wedding given at 
the home of the employer. If they came, they did not expect 
to be introduced to the guests but were expected to amuse 
themselves watching the crowd. They visited only among 
themselves, except an occasional call of the wife and children 
on the family of the employer. The overseer ranked just 
above the Negro trader, whose work was considered the very 
lowest and most degrading a white man could undertake, 
and the stigma clung for generations, notwithstanding the 
money the traders usually accumulated. 

Of course in case of sickness at the overseer's, the lady at 
the great house saw that they were not neglected and that 
they were well waited on. There was always a woman fur- 
nished to wait on the overseer's family, and if he had many 
children, a half-grown girl was furnished to nurse. There 
were often the kindest relations existing between the two 
families until the overseer would leave or be discharged; then 
they would drop entirely out of each other's lives. 

I cannot recall an instance when a lady on one place called 
on the overseer's wife of another planter. Then, it seemed 
a very natural custom, but looking back it seems an odd 
state of affairs. 

The cookhouse and the stables with the great, roughly- 
built barns stood in easy reach of the overseer's house, so 
that, standing on his front gallery, he could see what was 


going on in the " quarter lot." But he was expected to be 
most of the day on his horse in the field watching the hands. 
He was responsible for all that went on: he must see that 
the two old Mammys in the nursery, a great big room with a 
fireplace at each end and two rows of cradles, took good care 
of the little darkies fed them and kept them decently 
clean; and he must see that the women at the cookhouse 
kept it clean and that the food was well cooked and abundant. 
Sometimes when the hands were in a remote part of the field, 
the dinner would be sent them at 1 o'clock. As I remember, 
the Negroes were expected to cook their own suppers and 
breakfasts, but each plantation was a law unto itself and 
customs varied. The rations were meat and meal, and there 
was a large garden to furnish vegetables for the dinner. Most 
of the Negroes had little gardens back of their houses, and 
it was a very lazy "cullud pusson" who did not raise 
chickens and have eggs. 

The overseer had to see that the mules were well looked 
after, curried, fed, and watered; that the milkwoman did her 
duty by the cows; and that the stockman gave his best care 
to the hogs, calling them up at night and penning them away 
from the wolves or other varmints. For on this new place, 
stretching back into a cypress swamp that extended miles 
away, the wolves were still at home; and sitting on the back 
gallery in the late evenings, we would often hear them howl- 
ing in the canebreak. And there was still an occasional bear 
to be killed by the hunters. Then there was the gin and 
sawmill work to be directed; so you will see that the manager 
earned his salary, varying from $800 to $1,200 as he was 
efficient or otherwise. 

There were about one hundred and fifty Negroes on the 
place, " big and little," as we used to say, and the feeding 
and clothing was no light job. They were furnished only 
two or three suits a year, with a calico or linsey dress, head 
handkerchiefs, and gingham aprons at Christmas for the 
women, with presents of some kind for the men, and with 
tobacco and a drink all around. A few pounds of flour, sugar, 
and coffee were given to each grownup and always beeves, 
hogs, and material for a big Christmas supper, and a holiday 


of two or three days or a week was granted if the plantation 
work was not pressing. 

The clothes for the men and boys and for many of the 
women who could not sew, were cut and made by seam- 
stresses on the place under the supervision of the master's, 
or occasionally of the overseer's, wife. I used to be sorry 
for Mamma in the spring and fall when the time would come 
to have everything cut out; a room would be cleared out and 
the great bolts of white woolen jeans, Osnabergs, and linseys, 
with bolt after bolt of red flannel for the little ones, would 
be rolled in and the women with great shears would com- 
mence their work. There were several sets of patterns with 
individual ones for the very tall and the very fat, but there 
was not much attention paid to the fit, I fancy. 

Usually Mamma would lay a pattern on several layers of 
the goods, chalk it around, and a woman would cut it out. 
After a day or so of this work, Mamma would go to bed 
quite broken down and Aunt Lucy, the colored housekeeper, 
would finish the superintending. 

The style of goods used then must have gone out with 
slavery. I have not seen any of that white jeans for years 
and years. It would last for years and years and after many 
washings become as soft as flannel. The Negroes often dyed 
the white suits tan or grey with willow bark or sweet gum. 
And those heavy russet shoes that all clumped about in, the 
old and the young, men and women whoever sees them 
now? And a good riddance, for they were oh! so ugly and 
must have been excessively uncomfortable about as pliable 
as wood. After many, many greasings, the poor darkies 
could at last bend their feet in them. 

I was born and raised in the South (and to this day I have 
never been north of Mason and Dixon's line) as were all of 
my relations before me as far back as we can recall them, 
six generations of lawyers, doctors, civil engineers, but gener- 
ally planters. Yet with this unmixed Southern blood from 
generation after generation of slaveholders, my first recollec- 
tion is of pity for the Negroes and desire to help them. Even 
under the best owners, it was a hard, hard life: to toil six days 
out of seven, week after week, month after month, year after 


year, as long as life lasted; to be absolutely under the control 
of someone until the last breath was drawn; to win but the 
bare necessaries of life, no hope of more, no matter how hard 
the work, how long the toil; and to know that nothing could 
change your lot. Obedience, revolt, submission, prayers all 
were in vain. Waking sometimes in the night as I grew older 
and thinking it all over, I would grow sick with the misery 
of it all. 

As far as Mamma could, the Negroes on our place were 
protected from cruelty and were well cared for; they were 
generally given Saturday evening and had plenty to eat and 
comfortable clothes. Still there were abuses impossible to 
prevent. And constantly there were tales circulated of cruel- 
ties on neighboring plantations, tales that would make one's 
blood run cold. And yet we were powerless to help. Always 
I felt the moral guilt of it, felt how impossible it must be for 
an owner of slaves to win his way into Heaven. Born 
and raised as we were, what would be our measure of 

Although the war swept from us everything and life since 
'65 has been a long struggle for the necessaries of life, I have 
never regretted the freeing of the Negroes. The great load 
of accountability was lifted, and we could save our souls 
alive. God would not require the souls of the Negroes at our 
hands. Everyone would give account of himself to God. . . . 
It required quite a corps of servants to keep us well waited 
on at Brokenburn, for no one expected to wait on himself. 
The most important was Aunt Lucy, the housekeeper, a nice- 
looking, middle-aged grifle x woman, who waited on Mamma 
and superintended the others and was expected to see that 
all household affairs moved smoothly. Annie, the cook, was 
thin and dark. Her office was certainly no sinecure, as there 

t x Frederick Law Olmsted, who traveled extensively through the South 
in the 1850 s, gave these classifications, as designated by the French 
in JNew Orleans, according to the greater or less predominance of negro 
blood: Sacatra, griffe and negress; Griffe, negro and mulatto; Marabon, 
mulatto and griffe; Mulatto, white and negro " The Cotton King- 
dom; A Travellers Observations on Cotton and Slavery in the American 
blave States, ed. Arthur M. Schlesinger (New York, 1953) , 228. 


were always from thirteen to maybe twenty white people and 
all the house servants to cook three abundant warm meals 
for every day with no scant cold tea at night but perhaps 
the most generous meal of the day. I wonder now how the 
cooks of those days got through with it all. Nearly every 
week there was a large dining, and often entertainments in 
the evening with elaborate suppers. It is true that the mis- 
tress or daughter of the house and Aunt Lucy always helped 
with the desserts and the fancy dishes. Thinking it over by 
the light of later experience, I know our cook was a hard- 
worked creature. Then, we never thought about it. 

Also, there was the seamstress, only next in importance to 
the cook, and always with piles of work ahead. In those days 
there were no ready-made clothes for women or children and 
not many for men, otherwise than pants, vests, and coats. 
The handsome dresses were made by city dressmakers and 
everything else made at home. Sewing machines were just 
coming in and were easily put out of order, and so few Negro 
seamstresses could use them. They were good only for the 
mistress of the house and she was usually too busy to bother 
with them. Aunt Lucy in her spare time was expected to 
help the seamstress, and my maid, Frank, "Francesca 
Carrorra " to give her full name, was also learning to sew. 
But as Frank was said by all the Negroes to be the " most 
wofless girl " on the place, she was not making much progress. 
She certainly was lazy. A bright yellow mulatto, just the 
color of a pumpkin, with straight black hair and intensive 
black eyes, she was odd to look at and so unreliable at any 
kind of work that she was a trial to everybody. She had 
been mine since we were little children together (she was 
two years younger) , and I could not bear to have her pun- 
ished. So she dawdled along, doing as little as she could. 

The washwoman, Emma, lived in a house in the corner of 
the yard with Harriet, and her job, to keep the whole family 
in clean clothes, necessitated an assistant most of the time. 
And they were busy all the week. People did not have as 
many clothes in those days and they must needs be washed 


Webster, a griffe Negro, was the dining room servant and 
some times the coachman, though if he was very busy Uncle 
Tom from the quarter would drive. To help Webster was a 
half-grown little darkie, Charles, to rub the knives, do er- 
rands, help clean the boots. There were seven pairs and 
generally several more belonging to the visitors, and boots 
were boots, reaching to the knee if for hunting or tramping 
not many men wore shoes. 

Uncle Hoccles (Hercules? I suppose) , a native African, 
had been brought over after he was full grown and was now 
quite an old man who looked wonderfully like a gorilla. The 
boys were just reading Du Chaillu's Adventures in Africa, 2 
and they used to point out to each other the many points 
of similarity between Uncle Hoccles and the gorillas pictured 
in the book. Uncle Hoccles was the gardener and a most 
faithful old fellow low, heavy built, with long arms, and 
as black as tar. He spoke a most curious lingo that only 
those accustomed to him could understand. He had entire 
charge of the garden and could not bear for the overseer to 
come in to give him directions. He quite loved for Mamma 
and the children to come in and admire the splendid vege- 
tables and the beautiful order, but he never troubled to obey 
Mamma's orders, unless they agreed with his ideas of what 
was necessary. He gathered the vegetables and there was a 
standing feud between him and the cook; she would slip in 
and get something he wished to keep for next day. 

The last of the household was a slim, brown child of ten, 
Sarah, whose province was to stand or sit on a low footstool 
just behind Mamma's chair, to run errands and carry mes- 
sages all day long, and to pick up the threads and scraps of! 
the carpet. She never spoke unless spoken to and stood like 
a bronze statue. 

Each of the boys owned a little darkie in the quarter who 

2 Paul Belloni Du ChaaUu, born in Louisiana in 1835, spent his early 
life in Africa. Between 1855 and 1859 he traveled extensively in the 
Gaboon country. Returning to the United States in 1859, he published 
in 1861 Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa; with Accounts 
of the Manners and Customs^ of the People and of the Chase of the 
Gorilla, Leonard, Elephant, Hippopotamus, and Other Animals. He sub- 
sequently published many books for juveniles. 


would eventually become his body servant when the owner 
should arrive at the dignity of manhood. 

There were ponies for the younger children and horses for 
the big boys. My Brother Will and I each owned a beautiful 
horse, fast and spirited, and many were the wild, dashing 
rides we enjoyed in company, little and big, all riding to- 
gether. Mamma did not like riding on horseback, but she 
had nice carriage horses and they did not grow fat from idle- 
ness. They had to be renewed more frequently than any 
stock on the place because they would so frequently founder. 

And this was our household, overflowing with life and gay 
with happiness and hope, when I commenced my journal in 
1861. How I wish I could write well so that this old life 
could live in the imagination of my children, but I never 
had the gift of expression with my pen. 

Brokenburn, with twelve hundred and sixty acres, about 
eight hundred cleared and deadened, was a most fertile place, 
new and productive. The Negroes seemed as much ours as 
the land they lived on. The crop of 1861 would pay off all 
indebtedness, leaving a surplus, and hereafter we would have 
nothing to do but enjoy ourselves. Mamma, My Brother, 
and I were to make the Northern tour in the summer, leaving 
Sister with Aunt Laura and the boys at home under Mr. 
Newton's care. Then the next year we would go sight-seeing 
in Europe, taking Little Sister and leaving two of the boys at 
college and the others still in Mr. Newton's charge. Mamma 
had planned to spend so much of the income of the place 
every year in making first and second payments on her 
plantation and Negroes, the places as they were bought being 
put in the names of her children in order of their seniority. 
Thus by the time the youngest child was grown, each would 
have his own plantation. 

Life seemed so easy and bright before us when in the 
winter of 1861 commenced the great events that swept away 
this joyous future and set our feet in new and rugged paths. 
And now, forty years from then, we are still walking the 
same rough path, laden with heavy burdens. 

It was then when excitement was at white heat, when 


state after state was seceding and we heard only of war and 
rumors of war, when company after company was being 
formed and regiment after regiment was being hurried to 
Virginia, that I took up the record of my journal that was 
to record many woeful changes before the four years of 
agony and strife were over. 


Talhilah, Louisiana 

November, 1900 


"Our Cause is just" 

May 15: My Brother started at daybreak this morning 
for New Orleans. He goes as far as Vicksburg on horseback. 
He is wild to be off to Virginia. He so fears that the fighting 
will be over before he can get there that he has decided to 
give up the plan of raising a company and going out as 
Captain. He has about fifty men on his rolls and they and 
Uncle Bo have empowered him to sign their names as mem- 
bers of any company he may select. Mamma regrets so that 
My Brother would not wait and complete his commission. 
He could get his complement of men in two weeks, and 
having been educated at a military school 1 gives him a great 
advantage at this time. And we think there will be fighting 
for many days yet. 

We gave him quite a list of articles to be bought in the 
City, for it may be some time before we shop in New Orleans 

May 23: Mamma was busy all the morning having the 
carpets taken up and matting put down and summer curtains 
hung. Of course the house was dusty and disagreeable. Mr. 
Newton and the children were shut up in the schoolroom 
and so escaped it, but Uncle Bo wandered aimlessly around, 
seeking rest and finding none. I retired to the fastness of my 
room with a new novel and a plate of candy and was oblivi- 
ous to discomfort until Frank came to say dinner was ready 
and " the house shorely do look sweet and cool." 

In the afternoon Mamma lay down to rest as she was tired 

1 In Frankfort, Ky. 



out. Mr. Newton and Uncle Bo rode out to Omega [Land- 
ing] 2 for the mail and to hear the news. The boys, Little 
Sister, and I all went down the bayou for a walk with a 
running accompaniment of leaping, barking hounds, ranging 
the fields for a scent of deer or maybe a rabbit. The boys 
are so disgusted if the dogs race off after a rabbit. They 
think it ruins them for deer dogs. How pleasant to have the 
smooth, dry ground underfoot again after so many months 
of mud. It has been such a long, muddy winter and spring. 
No one knows what mud is until he lives on a buckshot 
place and travels buckshot roads. 

Tonight a little fire was pleasant and we all gathered 
around it to hear Mr. Newton read the papers. Nothing but 
" War, War " from the first to the last column. Throughout 
the length and breadth of the land the trumpet of war is 
sounding, and from every hamlet and village, from city and 
country, men are hurrying by thousands, eager to be led to 
battle against Lincoln's hordes. Bravely, cheerily they go, 
willing to meet death in defense of the South, the land we 
love so well, the fairest land and the most gallant men the 
sun shines on. May God prosper us. Never again can we 
join hands with the North, the people who hate us so. 
We take quite a number of papers: Harper's Weekly and 
Monthly, the New York Tribune, Journal of Commerce, 
LittelVs Living Age, the Whig and Picayune of New Orleans, 
and the Vicksburg and local sheets. 3 What shall we do when 
Mr. Lincoln stops our mails? 

The Northern papers do make us so mad! Even Little 
Sister, the child of the house, gets angry. Why will they tell 
such horrible stories about us? Greeley 4 is the worst of the 
lot; his wishes for the South are infamous and he has the 
imagination of Poe. What shall we do when our mails are 
stopped and we are no longer in touch with the world? 

We hear that Mr. Peck has raised a company of Irishmen 

2 A shipping point on the Mississippi in northeast Madison Parish. 

8 The Vicksburg Whig and the Madison Journal, Delta, La. 

4 Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune. A radical Republi- 
can paper, the Tribune was one of the most widely circulated newspapers 
of the day. Dictionary of American Biography, VII, 531, 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 15 

from the levee camp and that the Richmond [La.] 5 company 
has disbanded and re-enlisted for the war. They were twelve- 
month men. 

Wednesday Uncle Bo went out to the river to drill the men 
and soon returned with the news that the levee at Airlie came 
very near giving away last night. The river is very high and 
a break there would put us entirely under. There are great 
fears of a tremendous overflow. Men are watching and the 
Negroes are working on the levees day and night. 6 

The Monticello company, 4th La. Regt., has been ordered 
up the river and the Lake Providence Cadets are off for New 

Late this afternoon Mamma and I went down to see the 
wife of the new overseer. She seems entirely too nice a 
woman, for her fashion is evidently from the planter class. I 
wonder why she married him. She does not look like a 
contented woman. 

Uncle Bo, Ashburn, and I walked back and forth on the 
gallery in the cool moonlight, talking of soldier life and won- 
dering what we who are left behind will do when both of our 
men folks are off and away. 

From Uncle Bo's room floats the soft sound of violin, 
flute, and guitar. They are enjoying perhaps their last prac- 
tice together. May God bless and keep them. 

May 24i A lovely spring day, as fair as a poet's dream of 
May. Mamma is busy doing some machine work on Jimmy's 
shirts and I have been embroidering so enthusiastically that 
tonight I am tired out. In the afternoon Mamma, Mrs. 
Hardison, and I called on Mrs. Graves, 7 and Mrs. Hardison 
and I adjourned to the orchard and feasted on the best 
plums, our first this spring. Mrs. Graves promised Mamma a 
bulb of lovely crimson gladiolus. 

5 Richmond, the first parish seat of Madison Parish, was two miles 
south of the present parish seat, Tallulah. 

6 Before the 1870's levees on the Mississippi and its tributaries were 
built and maintained by individuals and communities. Such levees were 
often fifteen feet high and thirty feet wide at the base. 

7 R. W. Graves and his wife, Ann, were the parents of Lamartine, 
Emma, Eugenie, Ettie, and Ann. 


The boys went over to the schoolhouse to hear Mr. E wing's 
scholars " speak a piece." Mr. Ewing is tutor for the Curry B 
and Hardison children. At the supper table they were rather 
severe in their criticisms of the speeches; of course they think 
they could have done better. And they were especially em- 
phatic in their remarks on Mrs. Curry and her two youngest 
hopefuls. Mrs. Curry insisted on bossing the whole thing. As 
they were mostly her children and her tutor, I could not see 
why the boys should object. 

Dr. Devine came up from the quarters, where he had been 
to see one of the sick Negroes, in high feather and his new 
Sunday suit. He did not have as much news as usual but 
perhaps more truth. It is a lovely moonlight night and 
Brother Walter is out riding the levee, watching in Mr. 
Newton's place. Ashburn and I walked a long time on the 
gallery after supper, he playing the flute and I repeating to 
myself poems recently learned the last, " The Jacobite Fid- 
dler," from a recent number of the Living Age. 9 

May 25: My Brother returned this evening. He did not 
succeed in joining the Monticello Guards from Carroll Parish. 
They had gone up the river, but he joined the Jeff Davis 
Guards at Vicksburg and was elected 3rd lieutenant. It is an 
Irish company officered by Americans. It was raised by Dr. 
Buckner and Capt. Manlove, and if My Brother had seen 
either of them on his way to New Orleans, they would have 
given him the captaincy. Tom Manlove is a captain. Uncle 
Bo cannot join it as a private, as the association would not 
be pleasant; and he is so disappointed not to be with My 
Brother. He hopes to get into the Volunteer Southerns, 
which will leave Vicksburg in a few days. 

The Jeff Davis Guards leave for Richmond [Va.] on Mon- 
day, and so My Brother and Uncle Bo get off in the morning 
as early as possible. My Brother told us much of the soldiers 

8 William C. Curry (also spelled Currie) , and his wife, Hester, were 
the parents of Huldah, Mary, Kate, Sybelia, and Leila. George S, 
Richards and Sarah Richards lived with them, children, perhaps, of a 
former marriage 

9 Littell's Living Age, a monthly founded in Boston in 1844. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 17 

he saw in New Orleans: the Zouaves, with their gay, Turkish 
trousers and jackets and odd drill; the Tiger Rifles, recruited 
from the very dregs of the City and commanded by a man 
who has served a term in the penitenitary; and the Perrit 
Guards, the gambler's company to be admitted one must 
be able to cut, shuffle, and deal on the point of a bayonet. 

My Brother is in extravagant spirits. He is so glad to get 
off, and then he saw Kate and I think they have made it up 
again. Uncle Bo is very sad for he so wanted for them both 
to be in the same company. Now they can only hope to be 
in the same regiment. I can see them go, for I feel I know 
they will return. The parting will be dreadful for Mamma. 
She so depends on My Brother, her oldest and best beloved. 
The boys are disgruntled because they cannot go too. 

May 26: Our two loved ones left us this morning, but we 
cannot think it a last farewell. My heart tells me they will 
come again. They go to bear all hardships, to brave all 
dangers, and to face death in every form, while we whom 
they go to protect are lapped safe in luxurious ease. But oh! 
the weary days of watching and waiting that stretch before 
us! We who stay behind may find it harder than they who 
go. They will have new scenes and constant excitement to 
buoy them up and the consciousness of duty done. 

Mr. Catlin 10 came over to tell them good-bye. My Brother 
explained everything to him and gave him a letter for the 
men Brother had been drilling. I hope they will not blame 

Mamma fitted them out with everything she thought they 
could need. And their three horses were well loaded down. 
Wesley went to wait on them and was very proud of the 
honor of being selected to " go to battle with Marse Will." 
We hope he will do, though he has not been much about the 
house. Uncle Bo would not take a man for himself. He says 
a private has no business with a body servant, but if he 
changes his mind, a boy can be sent to him at any time. 

Both will belong to infantry companies, and they will be 

10 John D. Catlin, a neighboring planter. 


fitted out with uniforms in Vicksburg. Brother Coley went 
with them as far as Vicksburg. They left so quickly that 
none of their friends knew in time to come over to say good- 
bye. Mr. Valentine will be sorry. He is such a friend of My 

They said good-bye in the fairest, brightest of May morn- 
ings. Will they come again in the summer's heat, the autumn's 
grey, or the winter's cold? 

Mr. Newton and the boys rode out to the river with them. 
As they rode away, out of the yard and through the quarters, 
all the house servants and fieldhands watched them go. And 
many a heartfelt " Good-bye, Marse William and Marse 
Bo God bless you " went with them. 

I hope we put up everything they need. We lined their 
heavy blankets with brown linen and put pockets at the top 
for soap, combs, brushes, handkerchiefs, etc. The linen is 
tied to the blankets with strong tapes so that it can be easily 
taken off and washed. And we impressed it on Wesley that 
he must keep everything clean and take the best care of both 
our soldiers as long as they are together. He promised faith- 
fully to do his best. Mamma has been very brave and stood 
the separation better than I hoped. 

May 27: Mamma has been busy all day sewing on 
Jimmy's shirts and going through the vegetable and flower 
garden, all in a flourishing state. So many flowers, though 
our garden is but a new one yet. We must save all sorts of 
seeds, as we will get no more from the North. Mamma is 
having quantities of peas, potatoes, and all things eatable 
planted, as our only chance for anything from this time until 
the close of the war will be to raise it ourselves. Strict 
economy is to be the order of the day. 

It is probable that meat will be very high, and by advice 
of Mr, Fellowes ai Mamma will try to raise enough to do the 
place. She has put Jeffery to devoting his whole time to the 
hogs and cattle. We have not a great quantity of either just 
now, but they will soon grow. 

11 Cornelius Fellowes, of Fellowes & Co., New Orleans, was the factor 
for Mrs, Stone, 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 19 

Times are already dreadfully hard. It was difficult for My 
Brother to raise enough money to fit them out could only 
do it by pledging cotton at the bank. 

Webster, who went to bring the horses back, came this 
morning. Wonka is the horse Uncle Bo gave me some time 
ago. He is such a lovely blood bay, so spirited, with every 
gait, and fleet as the wind when we start on a race. But I 
shall give him to Uncle Bo when he gets home. He will 
deserve a good horse after walking so long. 

All Uncle Bo's jewelry, he left with me. He has quite an 
assortment of pins and rings and watch chains. One makes 
a lovely bracelet and I have often worn it. 

Roanoke, a powerful hunter, will belong to Brother Walter 
until My Brother gets back. I am glad Dr. Buckner did not 
keep Roanoke. 

Ashburn and Johnny, the youngest of the boys, brought 
us some mulberries from their ride in the woods, but nobody 
but children cares to eat mulberries. They report the black- 
berries as nearly ripe, and we will have a lovely trip for them 
deep in the green woods in an old clearing. They are the 
finest, glossy, sweet berries ever seen and with the dew on 
them delicious. 

We had a warm discussion after tea, Mr. Newton con- 
tending that the states had no right to secede immediately 
on Lincoln's election and that they should have remained 
quiet for four years and seen what would be the policy of the 
government. We all bitterly oppose this view of the subject. 
Why, in four years we would have no rights worth fighting 
for! He thinks that if the states had been patient there would 
have been no war for years and that it would have been 
better to submit to Lincoln's rule no matter how unjust 
than to have provoked a war. But oh, no! We cannot see it 
that way. We should make a stand for our rights and a 
nation fighting for its own homes and liberty cannot be over- 
whelmed. Our Cause is just and must prevail. 

M ay 28: We have been busy sewing today. This evening 
Ashburn and Johnny went to Omega for the mail, and the 
poor, careless, little Johnny brought back the wrong saddle- 


bags. So no mail today, and it is of such absorbing interest 
now. Johnny, seeing the disappointment of the family, burst 
into tears and shut himself up in his room and refuses all 
comfort in the way of supper and solicitations. He is a 
sensitive child. 

May 29: Brother Walter brought the mail this evening. 
Rumors of battles, but nothing reliable. The papers are 
filled with war news. 

A letter from Mrs. Rossman to Mamma. She was all ready 
to pay us a long visit in company with Claudy Gibson when 
she heard that the roads here were impassable from rains, 
and so they returned home. Of course the report was ex- 
aggerated. We can get out even in the worst of times in a 
road wagon or on horseback, if not in the carriage. 

Also a letter from Kate Nailor. From her main message to 
My Brother, they must be betrothed lovers again. I am glad 
for his sake and hers. And Kate is my dearest friend, but it 
is hard to give up the first place in the heart of my darling 
Brother even to this other Kate. There are only fifteen 
months between us and we have always been such chums. 
We have enjoyed so much together. Truly, I shall never love 
a stranger as I love him who has been my heart's dearest 
since babyhood. But oh! there is no use borrowing trouble 
over that, when so many things may happen before we 
three meet again. 

I studied a little French I am getting quite rusty in it 
and read a most interesting paper on Iceland. What a dreary 

May 80: Brother Coley got back from Vicksburg today. 
He said good-bye to My Brother on Monday and Uncle Bo 
on Wednesday. The Jeff Davis Guards went off with bou- 
quets on bayonets, with shouts and hurrahs, and the Volun- 
teer Southerns amid sobs and cries. The very flower of the 
Vicksburg young men go with that company and many a 
heavy heart is left behind. I am glad Uncle Bo could get in 
the Company. He knows most of them, as Warren County 
[Miss.] is his old home. Frank Nailor goes with them, though 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST 39 21 

he has only one arm, but the two Booths withdrew. The girls 
made a great fuss over My Brother said he was most capti- 
vating in his new uniform. Wish we could have seen him. 
Flora, the seamstress, has a little boy. 

May 31: Mamma, Mrs. Hardison, and I spent a pleasant 
day at Dr. Carson's. Met a Mr. Abercrombie, cousin of Mrs. 
Carson, and found him rather pleasant but a bit shy. We 
rode down in the afternoon to see Mrs. Savage. She has been 
quite ill and shows it in her looks. She is much depressed. 
Having scarlet fever so long on the place, losing so many 
Negroes, and seeing nobody but the doctor from the outside 
world, are trying to anybody, but she should be thankful 
that all her family were spared. Her garden is lovely, such a 
variety of flowers all in bloom and in lovely order. Flowers 
are her delight. 

Had a chat with Robert Norris, Mr. McGee the tutor, Mr. 
Kaiser, and Mr. Dobbs, who is now an ordained minister, 
and Mr. Hornwasher (?) . All are staying with Mrs. Savage. 
One would not think she could ever be lonely, but she is 
very fond of entertaining, giving large dining and evening 

We reached home long after dark and found the boys just 
starting out to look for us. We were quite frightened in the 
dark woods below Mr. Hardison's. 

June 1: The boys are all away for the day: Brother 
Coley, Mr. Newton, and Ashburn visiting on the river, 
Brother Walter at the [Milliken's] Bend, 12 and Jimmy and 
Johnny out hunting. They brought back the first black- 
berries of the season. Mail received this evening and all our 
papers, and so we have plenty to read. We fear this will be 
our last Northern mail, and so we take our last insult from 
Greeley this evening. 

12 Milliken's Bend, established about 1820, was situated on a small 
rise at a large bend in the Mississippi about twenty miles above Vicks- 
burg. A shipping point for plantations in the area, it was later engulfed 
by the river. 


June 3: Went to Goodrich's 13 to church yesterday, our 
first sermon since December. Heard Mr. Holbury, the new 
Methodist minister, preach for the first time. Quite satis- 

Mamma and I went today through a penetrating drizzle 
to the Bend to see Julia Reed and Mrs. Reading. 14 Stopped 
for Mrs. Hardison, who sent out some delightful plums to 
interest us until she should be ready. Had rather a stirring 
time getting to the Bend, a rough road and had to get out in 
the rain for the mules to pull up the levee and out again for 
them to pull down it. Stuck in a mudhole of seepage water 
just as we entered the city. But for the timely assistance of 
Mr. Owens directing Webster and Charles, we might have 
been there yet. Arrived at Mrs. Reading's muddy and tired 
and our gallant deliverer, Mr. Owens, bade us adieu as he 
was then on his way to camp at Richmond. He is said to be 
engaged to Miss Celeste Newton of the Bend, a pretty girl 
in her teens. 

We spent rather a dry day, notwithstanding the rain, and 
in the afternoon walked back through mud and slush to 
regain the carriage on the other side of the mudhole. It rained 
all the way home, and here we went climbing, slipping and 
sliding, up and down the wet levee and over the sloshy roads. 
Mamma is always afraid in a closed carriage and was afraid 
to trust the mules, except on a dead level. Our last trip 
until clear weather and good roads. 

June 4- Wrote a little French and read Lena Rivers, a 
trifling novel. 15 In the afternoon Ashburn and I rode out to 
meet Brother Coley and Aunt Sarah and the children, who 
were to have come up on the boat, but we were again dis- 
appointed for about the third time in her coming. Brother 
Coley says some of the other boys must go to meet her the 
next time for he is tired of vain trips. 

13 Goodrich's Landing was on the Mississippi a few miles above 
Milliken's Bend. 

14 R. G. Beading, merchant, and his wife, M. J., were parents of two 
small children. 

15 By Mary Jane Holmes (1828-1907) , published hi 1856. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 23 

June 5: A lovely June day, and Mr. and Mrs. Curry with 
the three youngest children spent the day, their first visit 
in months. Annie, the baby, is a nice enough little tot, but 
what a time her mother has over her, washing, dressing, un- 
dressing, and fussing over her most of the day. One would 
never think it was about the eleventh child. I wonder if she 
worked so over all the others and why she has a nurse. Late 
in the afternoon I went with Brother Coley and Ashburn to 
the blackberry patch, a glorious ride, a fresh breeze, splendid 
horse, and a sweeping pace, and the two frolicsome boys. 
Mamma said the day had tired her out, but the berries 
refreshed her mind by supper and the merry chatter of the 
boys. After supper Mr. McRae, the overseer, came up for 
a long consultation with her. One by one the boys dropped 
off to bed, and when at last Mr. McRae took himself off and 
Mr. Newton, Mamma, and I had a most pleasant, non- 
sensical talking bee, while enjoying the nicest little meringues 
and custards. 

I lost my comb riding. It just suited my heavy hair, and 
combs are combs these days. So Jimmy, the dear obliging 
fellow, has promised to go early in the morning and look for it. 

I have moved back in my own cosy room again. I like it 
better than the large east room with its staring windows. 
Little Sister, for the last few nights, has deserted Mamma 
and is sleeping with me. 

June 7: Mamma and I made a dress for Sister by 12 
o'clock then read and idled away the afternoon. After supper 
I had two games of chess with Mamma and I was winner. 
Read a little French tonight. Sister does not to say enjoy 
her French lessons, but then I know I am a horrid teacher. 
How the mosquitoes are humming outside the bar. There 
must be thousands but they can't get me. 

June 8: The boys with Ben Clarkson 16 and George Rich- 
ards were off by daybreak on a grand hunt. They were all 
back by eleven and the net proceeds of the hunt were six 

16 Ben Clarkson, son of H. B. Clarkson, overseer. 


suits of wet clothes, six good appetites, and one chill bagged 
by Mr. Clarkson. 

Brother Coley went to the Bend and brought back the 
mail. The Tribune and Living Age still rampant. No num- 
bers of Harpers for some days. The boys went for berries 
this evening and were caught in the rain. They came back 
wet but cheerful with lots of fruit, the finest I ever saw, and 
so sweet. Johnny expected two of the Carson boys for the 
day, but they failed to come. 

June 8: A long weary day. Mamma, Jimmy, and I pre- 
pared for church but the weather was so cloudy we gave it 
out. Wrote to Kate in the afternoon and took a muddy walk. 
Went to the quarter to see old Aunt Annie who is sick. Took 
her some little delicacies and read a psalm. I am afraid she 
does not understand much of it. She is old and feeble. I 
doubt whether she will get well. 

June 10: Brother Coley and I rode out to Mrs. Savage's 
yesterday afternoon, and I remained over and came home 
with Brother Walter this evening. Found Anna Dobbs sick 
in bed chills, and unable to take quinine. Scarlet fever is 
still bad on the place and they have few visitors. They were 
quite glad to see us. No topic but the war. Mr. Horn washer 
was eloquent on the subject of Col. Ellsworth's death. 17 The 
ride home was so exhilirating. 

When quietly our days are passing, when the whole planet 
is in such a state of feverish excitement and everywhere there 
is the stir and mob of angry life Oh! to see and be in it all. 
I hate weary days of inaction. Yet what can women do but 
wait and suffer? 

June IS: The day of national humiliation, fasting, and 
prayer. We attended church at Goodrich's, a large congre- 
gation and a heartfelt service. Mr. Holbury preached an 

17 Colonel E. Elmer Ellsworth's llth New York Regt. (First Fire 
Zouaves) occupied Alexandria, Va., May 24, 1861. After removing a 
secession flag flying over the Marshall House, Ellsworth was fatally shot 
by James T. Jackson, keeper of the hotel. Battles and Leaders of the 
Civil War, ed. Robert U. Johnson and Clarence C. Buel (New York, 
1884-87) , 1, 179. Hereafter this work will be cited as Battles and Leaders. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 25 

excellent sermon and made an earnest prayer. The day was 
generally observed. Oh! may the prayers of so many ascend- 
ing, laden with the same petition, bring God's blessing on our 

" 0! Lord bow down thine ear, hear us for we are poor and 
needy/ 5 We feel that the arm of the flesh is powerless to save 
" and in Thee, Oh Lord, have we put our trust/' 

June 14'" Busy this morning making cakes for our ex- 
pected company to devour. Finished one sleeve of my linen 
embroidery. We all walked down this evening to the quarters 
to look at the new brick cook oven. It certainly will save 
many steps for the woman who cooks for the hands. I think 
Aunt Ellen has that job now. 

Mr. Newton, Sister, and I walked on to Mr. Hardison's to 
invite them to dine tomorrow but found some of the children 
sick, and so Mrs. Hardison had to decline. A lovely evening 
and we all sat out on the gallery until after eleven. 

June 15: A houseful of company today. Mrs. Carson and 
three boys, Mrs. Newman 18 and her two girls, Miss Bettie 
Carter, Joe Carson, and Mr. McGee, and in the afternoon, 
Robert Norris and Anna, were all with us today and we had a 
lively time. It was Mrs. Newman's first visit in a long time, 
but when she wishes to be specially agreeable, she should 
leave " Brat " (Walter) at home. He is a terror. 

Anna is here tonight to remain until Monday when Mrs. 
Savage's family will come out to spend the day. Anna was 
quite fatigued from her long ride on that ill-gaited pony but 
she managed to sit up until after 11 o'clock. 

June 16: None of us went to church today. The long ride 
in the hot sun would be too fatiguing, though I notice none 
of us mind it when we are going to a dining. This has not 
seemed like Sunday, which is generally a long day when 
spent at home. We were all in the parlor talking and laugh- 
ing, discussing the pronunciation of words and looking them 
up in the dictionary when yesterday's mail came in, bringing 

18 George B,. Newman, planter, and his wife, Ann, were the parents of 
George, Lizzie, and Walter. 


two letters from My Brother and one from Uncle Bo, the first 
since they left three weeks ago. We were so delighted to hear 
from them that we forgot everything else and the letters 
interested us the rest of the day. Both are in Richmond [Va.] 
and are well and comfortable. 

We all went to our rooms in the afternoon and took a long 
rest, then a short walk, and supper. All sat up on the gallery 
until after twelve discussing many and varied things; then 
to our rooms where Anna and I kept it up until two. We did 
read a long time in the Bible. I wrote to Uncle Bo and 
Mamma, Mr. Newton, and several of the boys wrote a 
partnership letter to My Brother. 

June 17: Anna, Mr. Newton, Brother Coley, and I were 
up bright and early to take a canter to the blackberry patch. 
Anna's horse got out and that detained us, but we com- 
promised on Longfellow, one of the carriage horses, and we 
were off by sunup. Such a delightful rush through the cool, 
clear morning and plenty of berries, though we did get wet to 
our waists. Then a race home just in time with our berries 
for breakfast. 

Mamma nearly worried herself into a fever this morning 
preparing for visitors, and it was so late before they came 
that we had about given them out. But they came in a 
body when they did make their appearance Mrs. Savage 
and the two little girls, Emily Norris and Anna Nicholson. 
Mrs. Savage, to punish them for an act of disobedience, had 
told them that they should not come here again until next 
Christmas, but she had relented after six months. The girls 
were wild with delight to be out here again and were racing 
all over the place. Mr. Hornwasher and Mr. Kaiser and 
Robert were also of the party, and Mark Valentine came in a 
little later. 

I had a long talk with Mr. Hornwasher on the subject of 
war and the battles he has been in. Both he and Mr. Kaiser 
are Hungarian refugees, political exiles. Mr. Hornwasher is 
a Count something in his own land. He is now a teacher of 
music and languages, and his great friend, Mr. Kaiser, is 
tutor at Mrs. Savage's. They are highly educated and re- 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 27 

fined men and are entertaining talkers, notwithstanding their 
odd pronunciation. 

Robert had fever and Mrs. Savage was so unwell that both 
had to lie down. Dinner passed off most pleasantly, at least 
to me. I sat between Mr. Kaiser and Mr. Newton and they 
made themselves very entertaining. Mr. Valentine and Anna 
sat together and hardly spoke to each other a dozen times. 
They never hit it off somehow. I must not let them sit next 
to each other again. 

War was the principal topic. Both Mr. Hornwasher and 
Mr. Kaiser speak of enlisting. I should think that they had 
had enough of war in their own country. Mr. Valentine 
treats the whole subject of the war in his usual sarcastic, 
cynical manner. To him, the whole affair is a grand humbug, 
the enthusiasm and patriotism of the South something to be 
mocked and sneered at. He cannot appreciate the earnest- 
ness and grandness of this great national upheaval, the throes 
of a Nation's birth. I could shake him. 

Mrs. Savage was suffering and her party left rather early, 
Anna, Robert, and Mr. Hornwasher following later in the 
afternoon, and Mr. Valentine took the road at sundown. Mr. 
Kaiser, Sister, the boys, and Mr. Newton went riding to the 
berry patch as usual, and I went out to have the flowers Mrs. 
Savage brought planted. The flowers are getting on beauti- 
fully. We will soon have a garden to be proud of. It will 
rival Mrs. Savage's and Mrs. Carson's. 

The berry party got back in time for Mr. Kaiser and me, 
with a little assistance from the boys, to eat all the berries. 
They had not wearied themselves by much gathering. Then, 
my fingers being badly stained, Mr. Kaiser tried to bleach 
them over burning matches with but indifferent success. 

After tea, Mr. Kaiser and Mr. Newton gave us some en- 
chanting music on the flutes, and about eleven Mr. Kaiser 
mounted his horse for home. He is most entertaining and 
pleasant to have in the house. Mr. Valentine has shaken off 
most of his shy, constrained manner and is getting to feel 
a little at ease. He leads such an isolated life, just he and 
his father, and this is about the only place he has ever visited 


until within the last few months when he has made a few 
calls on his neighbors. He is a schoolmate of My Brother and 
is really one of the most intelligent, brightest minds we know. 
Their place, Oasis, is just back of us, a larger plantation 
entirely surrounded by cypress breaks. His father we have 
not seen. He is an old gentleman who goes nowhere, who 
idolizes his son and is anxious for him to make friends, and 
who was so pleased when Mark commenced visiting us. 

June 18: We expected Aunt Sarah certainly today. Ash- 
burn went down to Vicksburg yesterday for her. We sent 
the carriage to the landing today, but it came back with only 
a letter saying she would be up on Saturday. 

Aunt Laura is ill. She has just lost a young baby and I 
know is much distressed and disappointed. She is so devoted 
to her only child, Beverly, the loveliest little girl I ever saw. 
Dr. Buckner thinks her perfect and really I believe she is, 
bodily, mentally, and physically. 

The little baby, we hear, was horribly deformed. God 
in mercy took it, but Aunt Laura knows nothing of its 

A letter from Kate and a note from Lou Morris saying she 
and one of her sisters would be up on Thursday to spend 
several days. Webster and Betsy are busy gathering berries 
and Annie is making jam of them. 

June 19: Early risers. Cakemaking, preserving, and peel- 
ing apples are the order of the day. A little sewing and 
French and the day rounded off with a ride with Johnny. 

Great excitement! About nine in the evening we were sit- 
ting on the front gallery and a runaway Negro passed just 
in front of the house. The boys rushed out after him, but he 
soon distanced them, and I was glad he escaped. I hate to 
think how he will be punished, perhaps whipped unmercifully. 
The runaways are numerous and bold. We live on a mine 
that the Negroes are suspected of an intention to spring on 
the fourth of next month. The information may be true or 
false, but they are being well watched in every section where 
there are any suspects. Our faith is with God. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 29 

The river is falling fast and there is no longer fear of an 

June 20: Mrs. Hardison and Lorena, her oldest little girl, 
spent today with us. We expected the Morris girls, but they 
failed us. The worst of it was that Mr. Dobbs and Joe Car- 
son came out this balmy evening just to meet them. I must 
say they stood the disappointment charmingly, and the 
evening, spent on the moonlit gallery with the black shadows 
of the great trees resting on the grass, was most pleasant 
until they made their farewell bow at eleven. 

Mr. Newton has a grand disgust for Mrs. Hardison. He 
has never liked her and today her remarks on Mr. Ewing 
ironed in the impression. I thought them in bad taste 
nothing more. 

We have Annie back in the house. She saves us much 

June 21: I was busy all day on the sewing machine, em- 
broidering, studying French, and " reading after Poe," as My 
Brother says. As we are all alone tonight, I was afraid to 
venture on any of his most fearsome pieces and so content 
myself with those that are only naturally horrible, avoiding 
the supernatural. Ashburn is still in Vicksburg and the boys 
and Mr. Newton went out to Dr. Carson's to spend the night 
and go swimming in the river tomorrow. 

In such lovely moonlight one should be ashamed to feel 
afraid, but I sleep with Mamma tonight. 

June 22: This evening, after keeping us on the qui vive 
for a month, Aunt Sarah and the children arrived to our 
great pleasure. The boys came home dull and tired, the effect 
of spending so many hours in the water. Hope none of them 
will be ill from it. 

We are all glad to have Ashburn back. Such an affection- 
ate, lovable boy, he is with Mamma and me so much. He 
never quarrels with the others and is perfectly obedient. 
Mamma certainly has the gift for managing boys. They 
never fight and rarely quarrel or get angry with each other. 

A letter from My Brother to Mamma. Both My Brother 


and Uncle Bo are quite well and in good spirits and are still 
in Richmond with no immediate prospect of being ordered off. 
Mr. Catlin called this morning. His visits are not unmixed 
delight. Fortunately, he does not come often. I do not 
suppose he enjoys them any more than we do, but all in the 
way of duty. Letter from Kate and Julia. One from Cousin 
Jenny Austin. 

June 23\ Mamma, Aunt Sarah, and I attended church at 
the Masonic Lodge at Goodrich's. Arrived entirely too early. 
Mr. Dobbs preached a passable sermon, but why should I 
criticize. Could I do as well? After the services we held quite 
a reception, all coming up to welcome Aunt Sarah. Dinner 
was just ready on our return and was very enjoyable after 
our long ride in the summer sun. Found Johnny suffering 
with severe earache, another ill effect of their long hours in 
the water. Jessie is very sympathetic. 

June 27: Monday Mamma, Aunt Sarah, and I went to 
Salem to call on Mrs. Savage's family. Found her in bed but 
feeling better for cheerful companionship. She soon dressed 
and took us through the garden, now a wealth of bloom. Mr. 
Kaiser and Mr. Hornwasher escorted me and each presented 
me a lovely bouquet made by himself to judge which had 
the best taste. The peaches were excellent. The second time 
we have had any. Mrs. Hardison sent Sister a nice basket 
of them, her earliest. Our trees will not bear until next year. 

Zou and Lou Morris came up and spent two days. Hearing 
that their mother was ill, they left in a drizzling rain. I am 
afraid they had rather a dull visit sometimes it is hard to 
entertain but they are such bright, pleasant girls that there 
should be no trouble in amusing them. 

Tuesday evening Aunt Sarah received a dispatch from Mr. 
Miller calling her to Memphis, She packed at once and by 
daylight Wednesday was ready to get off. Brother Coley 
went to Vicksburg with her. The thirty-mile drive to Vicks- 
burg is a wearisome one. So ends the visit we had looked 
forward to with such pleasure. Mr. Miller, Captain he is, 
now must be in camp near Memphis. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 31 

The exertion of entertaining, the stir and confusion of the 
children, and the hot weather have been too much for 
Mamma, and she has gone to bed really ill. Aunt Sarah got 
to Vicksburg in time, but by some mismanagement missed 
the train. Hope they got off the next day. Jessie is a bright, 
affectionate child but oh! so bad. Horace is a pretty little 
blond boy, the pet of both his father and mother and very 
much like the Marshalls, while Jessie is more like her mother's 
family, the Ragans, and I think the best looking. 

Fannie died of dropsy yesterday. We are all sorry for her 
mother, Betty. She has lost two children and her husband 
since December. The doctor thinks this child must have had 
scarlet fever and no one knew. In that case, we may expect 
it to spread through all the quarters. 

No news of battle since the battle of Bethel. 19 

June 28: A beautiful sunshiny day. Just enough rain has 
fallen to perfect the corn and help the cotton. Surely this 
year we have had " the early and the latter rains " and the 
promise of abundant crops. The North cannot starve us, try 
as they may, and God will aid us in our righteous cause. 
Mamma is still in bed but hopes to be up tomorrow. We all 
sat on the back gallery this evening as her room opens on 
that and we could talk to her through the window over her 
bed. Mr. Newton and Ashburn gave us selections from 
popular songs, " Those Dark Eyes/ 5 " Hard Times Come 
Again No More " and so on, and several serenades. Ashburn 
has learned very rapidly. He used to practice, when he first 
started in, sitting right at Mamma's side. Uncle Bo asked 
her how in the world she could stand it, how could she read 
or sew with that droning, mournful discord sounding right 
at her ears, and suggested that she should send Ashburn into 
another room. But she said no. It gave Ashburn great 
pleasure and he would soon learn. She had grown so used 
to it she was scarcely annoyed. She certainly is patient with 

19 Bethel, Va., June 10, 1861. Dates of battles given in footnotes here- 
after are taken from Statistical Record of the Armies of the United 
States (supplement to Campaigns of the Civil War) , comp Frederick 
Phisterer (New York, 1907) , passim. 


all these rollicking boys but most of all with Ashburn, who 
is devoted to " Sis Mandy." They are good, gentlemanly 
boys and have lots of fun together. 

Mr. Hubler (?) , a mechanic at work on the sawmill, was 
telling us his troubles. His wife and six children are in St. 
Louis, and he cannot get them away or even get letters from 
them. He says if the war lasts much longer he will go to 
Cairo and try to ride into St. Louis on a flatboat and get 
through the blockade if possible. He made us sorry for him, 
but there is no way of helping him. 

Dr. Young and Dr. and Mrs. J. Theus Taylor, living on 
Willow Bayou, are the only Unionists that we hear of in the 
whole parish, and we think they should be sent North to a 
more congenial people. 

Have commenced on Motley's Dutch Republic, three large 
volumes. 20 It is finely written and I think will prove quite 
interesting. There seemed so much to do today with Mamma 
sick that I felt overwhelmed so compromised and let the 
servants do the best they could and I did what I pleased 
a little reading, sewing, and talking with Mamma. Mrs. 
McRae came up in the afternoon and amused us telling of 
Mr. Anthony and his " last dear companion," his third. He 
seems to have caught a Tartar this time. 

June 29: Heard that Mrs. Hardison was sick and walked 
up early this morning to see her. She was in bed, not at all 
well. Mr. Hardison and I were having quite a political dis- 
cussion when a basket of fine peaches was handed around 
and we forgot our discussion for a more agreeable pastime. 
Mamma is better today but only feels well enough to lie on 
the lounge and bed. I commenced a set of chemise and will 
do the machine work, and Courtney, the seamstress, will 
finish them. 

In the late afternoon I went riding with Ashburn. We 
returned by Tensas bridge and stopped at Mr. Curry's for the 
mail, but they had not received it. Later Mr. Clarkson 
brought it in. Only a few papers. No letters from our soldiers. 

20 The Rise of the Dutch Republic (1856) , 3 vols., by John Lothrop 
Motley (1814-77). 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 33 

Ashburn is captain of a company of boys and is very 
enthusiastic. He went to the Bend today to select stuff for 
the uniforms but could find nothing suitable. We suggested 
white Lowell, red trimming, and cattails in their hats, to be 
called the Cat Tail Guards, but it did not seem to meet with 
approval. Sitting on the back gallery after tea, we heard the 
music of the banjo, accompanied by several strong voices, 
float up from the quarters. 

The house servants have been giving a lot of trouble lately 
lazy and disobedient. Will have to send one or two to the 
field and replace them from the quarters if they do not settle 
down. I suppose the excitement in the air has infected them. 
The fieldhands go on without trouble. 

June SO: A fair, bright Sunday, but none of us went to 
church. Webster was sick and could not drive, and most of 
the horses are lame or disabled in some way. So the boys 
stayed at home. It is strange how little it takes to keep one 
from going to church and how much to keep one from attend- 
ing a party. Mamma had fever again today but she is sitting 
up tonight. 

There is a comet visible tonight. We were surprised to see 
it, as we did not know it was expected. Have seen nothing 
of it in the papers. It is not very bright but has the appear- 
ance of a large star, Venus at her brightest, with a long train 
of light seen dimly as through a mist. Jimmy first discovered 
it. Two splendid meteors fell just above it, and the boys said 
it was a big star chased by little ones trying to regain its 
orbit. Read nearly all day the Bible, Motley, and a short 
time in a new magazine. 

Have a flock of the softest, yellowest, little ducks. 

July 1: Mamma is sick again today from the medicine. 
I hope she will be relieved by tomorrow. It upsets every- 
thing for her to be sick. I cannot settle to any work or even 
read with any comprehension. Commenced Anne of Geier- 
stein 21 to be read in connection with Motley's sketch of 

21 Anne of Geierstein, or the Maiden of the Mist (1829) is a sequel to 
Sir Walter Scott's Quentin Durward (1823) . 


Charles the Bold. A wet disagreeable day, Mamma sleeping 
through most of it, but she waked up this evening and was 
telling me tales of my babyhood and early childhood. It 
seems My Brother and I were quite noted little people in our 
circle of acquaintances. At eighteen months I learned my 
letters with My Brother, who was fifteen months older, and 
by the time I was two and a half could read very well. I 
knew Mother Goose by heart, could repeat pages of poetry 
and a number of little tales, and chatter of any and every- 
thing by the hour. And yet I was a good little child and the 
delight of my Father, who thought me a wonderful little 
creature and would never let me be crossed. I was his only 
daughter for so long. I remember his pleasure when Sister 
was born after six sons had been ushered into the world. My 
Brother had read through the Testament at five years old. 
They must have started us to school when we were babes. 
I do not remember the time when I could not read. My first 
recollection of books was trying to teach my little Aunt 
Serena, three years the older, her letters, sitting side by side 
on the steps. How strange it seemed to me that she could 
not read. I thought everybody read as everybody talked 

Mamma's talk was a great surprise to me as I had always 
thought I was the ugly duckling of the whole family. Aunt 
Sarah, Cousin Titia, Cousin Jenny, and Serena all of us 
children together, though all older than I I always heard 
praised for their beauty. I had always, since I could think, 
had the idea that my Father and all the family petted and 
encouraged me because they thought me so ugly and were 
sorry all the time that I was suffering from this idea, for it 
has been the shadow on my life. I was my Father's favorite; 
he thought me perfect. I had the admiration of the rest of 
the family for what they were pleased to think my quick, 
bright mind. The knowledge of this will, I think, change my 
life from this night. Finding that I have been much beloved 
all my life, I will try to put away the morbid thoughts that 
have so often harassed me the fear that, being ugly and 
unattractive, no one could ever really care for me, and that 
I was doomed to a life of loneliness and despair. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 35 

Mamma by one long, sweet talk lias exorcised this gloomy 
spirit; from this time forth I will try to make the best of the 
girl that Father loved so. 

Mamma says I was the quaintest-looking little figure when 
three years old, being small with long yellow hair plaited 
down my back my Father would never allow it to be 
touched with the scissors. I had a short, stumpy, little body 
and the very tiniest feet and hands, like bird claws, so small 
and thin, and a grave dignified manner. But I was an inces- 
sant chatterbox with the funniest lisp when perched in a 
high chair in the chimney corner reciting poetry and telling 
tales to amuse the laughing grown folks. The lisp I have 
kept to this day, try as I will to get rid of it. But not another 
feature is like the Kate of today. I am tall, not quite five 
feet six, and thin, have an irregular face, a quantity of brown 
hair, a shy, quiet manner, and talk but little. 

What an egotistical page, but it has made me happy. No 
more morose dreamings, but a new outlook on life. 

July 2: Mamma is still sick; so we sent for the doctor to 
see her, much against her will, but he relieved her almost at 
once though she will not acknowledge it. He also went to 
see Chainey, a sick child in the quarters. 

Mrs. Hardison and Mrs. McRae came in this evening, and 
while talking to them I made a blue rosette for Ashburn. 
His company is flourishing but is still without uniforms. Mail 
this evening Whig, Picayune, and a letter from Uncle Bo to 
Mamma. They are still in Richmond. He writes in low 
spirits and seems disgusted with a soldier's life. Wish we 
could talk with him for an hour. He is always so cheerful 
that it startles me to think of him as sad. 

Still trouble with the house servants. Aunt Lucy, the head 
of them all, ran away this morning but was back by dinner. 
Mamma did not have her punished. All of them are demora- 
lized from Charles up. 

July 3: Mamma was feeling quite ill all day but is better 
this evening. All the boys and Mr. Newton went to Omega 
to witness the consecration of the flag belonging to Mr. Peck's 


company. 22 There was quite a crowd. Many ladies were 
there and all had a pleasant evening. Mary Gustine, 23 the 
Morris girls, and others of our acquaintance were present. If 
Mamma had been well, we would have gone. 

The comet increases in brilliancy and beauty every night. 

July 4: Mamma is still in bed but is better. The boys 
have holiday in honor of the Fourth but more I think to keep 
up old customs than for any feeling of respect for the day. 
This is the first Fourth in our memory to pass without a 
public merrymaking of some kind, but we do not hear of the 
day's being celebrated in town or country. There are other 
and sterner duties before us. It would ill become us as a 
Nation to be celebrating a day of independence when we are 
fighting for our very existence. 

This July sun has set on a Nation in arms against itself, 
host against host. Those who have clasped each other's 
hands in kindest spirits less than one short year ago, as 
friends, as countrymen, as children of one common Mother, 
now stand opposing each other in deadliest hate, eager to 
water Old Mother Earth with the blood of her children. Our 
Cause is right and God will give us the victory. Will the next 
July sun rise on a Nation peaceful, prosperous, and happy, or 
on a land desolate and disgraced? He alone knows. 

Congress meets today. 24 The lives of thousands hang on 
its decision. Will it be for peace or war? We should know by 

Brother Coley returned tonight. He had gone to Memphis 
with Aunt Sarah. Mr. Miller is stationed only seven hours 
from Memphis and can run in quite frequently. He is trying 
to get the Colonelcy of a regiment and is stirring around in 
his usual style. He says he spends $2,000 a month and lives 
delightfully. Hope he will make an equal division with Aunt 
Sarah. Brother Coley enjoyed the trip greatly. 

22 Captain W. P. Peck, Madison Co , La. Militia. 

23 Mrs. Sophia Gustine, a widow, was the mother of Mary (Kate's 
age) , and four smaller children. 

24 In his proclamation of April 15, 1861, calling out the militia, Lincoln 
summoned Congress for a special session beginning July 4. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST 33 37 

July 5: Mrs. Carson and Joe came out this morning to 
call on Aunt Sarah. Mrs. Carson seemed scarcely able to sit 
up. Both Eddie and Dr. Carson are in bed with fever. They 
returned home in time to enjoy a wild turkey, the first one 
killed by Jimmy Carson. Our boys must look to their laurels. 
None of them has brought home a wild turkey. 

Mrs. Carson is a very attractive woman, so amiable and 
kind. She begged Mamma and me to go out and spend 
several days with them for the change. They brought us a 
lot of peaches and apples that look like winter apples from 
the North not over fragrant. Mrs. Carson is still interested 
in war news, but Mrs. Boyd is on her place now and Mrs. 
Carson has a never failing subject of interest in her. I was 
sitting outside with Joe but could hear Mrs. Carson giving 
Mamma a full account of Mrs. Boyd's extravagances and the 
eccentricities of the Bailey family generally. 

Little Sister went over this afternoon to hear Mr. E wing's 
scholars speak and she came back a sadder and a wiser child. 
Mr. Ewing took that occasion to whip How Curry and it 
seemed to shock and startle Sister greatly. She never before 
realized how dreadful a whipping was, as she had never seen 
one administered. 

The Fourth and today passed without any trouble with the 
Negroes. The general impression has been that the Negroes 
looked for a great upheaval of some kind on that day. In 
some way they have gotten a confused idea of Lincoln's 
Congress meeting and of the war; they think it is all to help 
them, and they expected for " something to turn up." I hope 
the house servants will settle to their work now. 

July 6: Have been reading the last chapter of Ecclesi- 
astes, one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. The last two 
verses always remind me of Dr. Elliott and my old school 
days in Nashville. 25 Dr. Elliott read them so often from the 

25 Soon after its founding in 1816, the Nashville Female Academy had 
an enrollment of 200 young ladies. The Reverend Mr. Elliott was the 
chief instructor as early as 1842. The institution did not survive the 
Civil War. W. Henry McRaven, Nashville, "Athens of the South" 
(Chapel Hill, 1949) , 61 and 75. 


All the Negroes have holiday today instead of on the 
Fourth, and what a perfect day, made when Nature was in a 
laughing mood. 

Ashburn went to the Bend, still seeing about the uniforms, 
and brought back, by my request, a lovely new hoop for me. 
It is such a comfort to have it. He also brought the ribbon 
for the boys' rosettes, red and white with a blue button for 
the center. We shall have to make them for all the company. 

Jimmy and I rode over to see the Curry s. Mrs. Curry 
made such a fuss over our visit that we were glad we went. 
Mr. Curry is in bad health and is very despondent. 

It is 11 o'clock, and from the quarters I hear the faint 
scrape of the fiddles and the thump, thump, thump of the 

Had our first ripe melon today. Would have had one 
yesterday, but Longfellow got hold of it first. 

Courtney gave birth to twins today, little girls, the first 
twins born on Brokenburn. Good luck to them. 

July 7: Mrs. Dancy 2G and all the children spent today 
with us, and I was sorry as I wanted to go to church. We 
thought she would hate to visit on Sunday and would not 
wish to keep people from church. But no, she likes it. She 
says she always goes Sunday if she can it is lonesome at 
home and that she sent us word so that we could not go to 
church when she had ridden so far to see us. She is a happy- 
go-lucky somebody. Mr. and Mrs. Curry came over to say 
good-bye. He is going off for his health. Mrs. Hardison sent 
Mamma a lovely basket of peaches. Fruit never comes out 
of season to us. Let it come morning, noon, or night, we 
receive it with acclamation. All arm ourselves with knives 
and when we arise from that basket nothing is left but peel- 
ings, not even the seed as they are sent at once to Uncle 
Hoccles to plant. Made the rosettes for the company. Late 
in the evening walked through the garden and found two 
scarlet geraniums and the nasturtiums about dead. Must 
speak to Uncle Hoccles about it. Went walking with Walter 

26 Dr. and Mrs. David Dancy owned and operated Crescent Plantation 
below Richmond on Roundaway Bayou. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST 9 ' 39 

and Ashburn. Dr. Devine joined us at the quarter and stayed 
to tea. 

Dr. Devine told us something of Lincoln's message. No 
hope for peace. Lincoln calls for 400,000 men and $4,000,000. 
He may raise the troops, but we do not think the money will 
be forthcoming. Such a sum will break the North in her 
present insolvent state. 

We hear of another engagement in which we came off vic- 
torious, though they were three to one. No particulars. 

Much sickness on the place chills and fevers. Mamma 
has had the storeroom moved just back of My Brother's 
room. It has been robbed of nearly all the groceries and we 
think Jessy is the thief. 

July 9: Mrs. Carson and Mrs. Boyd made a two-hour call 
today. Mrs. Boyd looks much like Mrs. Manlove and I fancy 
has her temper. She is the most eager, enthusiastic talker, 
deeply interested in the war, and is president of the ladies' 
sewing society in Natchez. And it is almost incredible the 
number of garments they have made for the soldiers. They 
have been sewing only three months. She was horrified when 
we all acknowledged that we had not taken a stitch in the 
Cause. With us it has been but the way that is wanting. 
Mrs. Carson seemed to feel our remissness as very serious. 
We might have done something before this. 

Joe sent me a basket of pears and a lovely message. We 
see from a late Whig that both My Brother and Uncle Bo's 
companies have been sent to Winchester and a battle is ex- 
pected there very soon. My Brother's wish will be realized. 
He wrote he was so tired of inaction. 

July 12: News of an engagement and glorious victory for 
us somewhere in Missouri and rumors of a battle in Vir- 
ginia. 27 No particulars. I wish we could hear when all these 
battles are fought. Guard our loved ones, oh! Father. 

Thursday Mamma and I spent with Mrs. Curry the long, 

27 There were no important movements or battles in Missouri at this 
time. The newspapers of both sections often printed grossly inaccurate 
accounts of supposed victories. 


long, weary day. She certainly is the most peculiar woman. 
Her manner and conversation were full of fresh surprises. 
Then the children and the servants and the whole uncom- 
fortable menage were too much for seven or eight hours of a 
scorching day. Got home to find Mr. Valentine just leaving. 
He had spent the day with the boys. But he reconsidered 
and stayed until eleven. Mr. Valentine's caustic, cynical re- 
marks and his shrewd, amusing comments on men and things 
are a relief after a day spent in listening to platitudes. 

We went this afternoon to call on Mrs. Holbury and found 
one of the children, Sally, very ill with congestion, and they 
seem to have very little idea of nursing. The child is insen- 
sible and they are alternately begging and scolding her to 
take medicine. 

Mrs. Holbury has a blessed disposition. She is living in a 
house half-finished, in the greatest disorder, with two ser- 
vants who are worse than useless one sick and the other 
contrary. The wife of an ugly itinerant preacher, she has four 
of the very homeliest children that ever worried a mother 
into frenzy. One of them was very sick, the fattest baby of 
three months, cross as a cat and the autocrat of the house 
from grandpa to little brother of three. With all these accu- 
mulated woes, she is as cheerful, gay, and seemingly as happy 
as though everything was moving on oiled wheels. "Her 
price is above rubies." 

Mr. Valentine sent us some numbers of Blackwood's 
Magazine. 28 

July IS: Mamma is in bed again today. Another grand 
hunt and the same ill luck. No deer brought home after 
several shots. Brother Coley went to the Bend with George 
Richards and got back just in time to ride out with me to 
enquire about Sally Holbury. We found her much better. A 
charming ten-mile ride. Ben Clarkson spent the night with 
the boys. He is very handsome, much like Hugh Dunlap. 
What a pity he is the son of an overseer. Alice Hardison 
spent the night with Sister. 

28 Established in Edinburg, Scotland, in 1817, this magazine had a 
wide circulation in America. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 41 

July H: Hurried to get up, hurried to eat breakfast, and 
hurried to get off to church. Then, after riding seven miles 
and opening twelve gates, we found there would be no ser- 
vice, the minister, Mr. Snodgrass from Vicksburg, being sick 
and unable to come. Rested awhile in the church and on 
our return trip met several carriages going. Saw only Amelia 
Scott and her mother that we knew. Mrs. Scott as usual 
was very apologetic for not having called. 29 She has a pleas- 
ant, gracious manner. Amelia is one of my schoolmates, but 
we were never intimate. Every white person on the place 
went to church except Brother Walter. 

When the plantation bell rings at night, the howling of the 
hounds here and at Mr. Curry's reminds us of My Brother 
and Mr. Curry. How they did love their dogs. Mr. Curry 
has not hunted since My Brother left. A long letter from My 
Brother, still at Richmond and worrying to be sent to the 

July 17: Mamma and I went out Monday and took din- 
ner with Mrs. Savage and went up in the afternoon to call 
on Mrs. Carson. I remained there until this evening. Mamma 
came out and spent the day. Had a delightful visit. It is a 
most hospitable home, complete in all its appointments 
lovely gardens and orchards, an old place well taken care of 
with perfect service because of so many servants. We ad- 
mire Dr. Carson greatly. He is such a humane master and 
good Christian. He has the minister to preach regularly to 
his Negroes, or if there is no minister, he or one of the boys 
reads a sermon, hymns, and the Bible to them every Sunday 
afternoon. And he has Sunday school for them. He raises 
plenty of fruit and vegetables for everybody on the place, 
and his quarter lot is the prettiest place, a great stretch of 
thick green turf dotted with great forest trees and a double 
row of two-room cabins shining with whitewash. It is the 
cleanest-looking place I ever saw. He is a good man. Mamma 
has the minister to preach to our Negroes when he can find 
time, but that is not as often as we wish. 

29 Mrs. Mary J. Scott, planter, was the mother of Amelia and Thomas. 


We reached home at dusk and the boys were anxiously 
watching for us. The warmth of their welcome was increased 
when Webster handed out the basket of " Melicon's pears." 
Alas, " Mrs. Galloway," our neighborhood " Mrs. Parting- 
ton." 30 

Annie and Aunt Lucy are both sick and Sue reigns in the 
kitchen while Frank has to stir herself in the house. 

July 18: Mamma and I made Brother Coley a pair of 
pants by 1 o'clock. She basted and I did the machine work. 
Read a horrible piece in Blackwood's on spontaneous com- 
bustion. He convinced me, as well as himself, that it is " a 
light that never was on sea or shore." After tea I wrote to My 
Brother and tried to write to Cousin Jenny, but the inquisi- 
tive cats and Brother Coley ? s teasing were too much for me. 
I went on the gallery where they were all sitting in time to 
hear Mamma and Mr. Newton's comments on Mr. Valentine, 
Jr. and Sr., and on Mrs. Curry. 

The conclusion they arrived at seemed to be that Mr. 
Mark Valentine should leave his father to his fate, a lonely 
and unloved old age, for fear of being influenced by his 
father's views of life and religion. He is, we hear, an out- 
spoken infidel and misanthrope and stands ill with his neigh- 
bors. But we do not know him and so do not let us judge him 
unseen. And do let his boy stay with him. As to Mrs. Curry, 
their decision was that she is either heartless or " feckless." 
The other day one of her children, Belia, was very sick. She 
looked at her and told the servants that she would have 
spasms when the fever went off, took her seat in the car- 
riage, and drove off six miles to see Mrs. Holbury's sick child. 
Sure enough, Addie did have spasms, as Mrs. Curry pre- 
dicted. And as Mrs. Curry was returning she met poor little 
Kate running in the sun in the middle of the hot, dusty road 
bareheaded to tell her mother little sister was so sick. 

Brother Coley was over there this evening and Mrs. Curry 
told him Huldah was very, very sick and she had sent for 

30 Mrs. Partington is the central figure of humorous sketches by B. P. 
Shillaber (1814-90) , author of Life and Sayings of Mrs. Partington 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 43 

the doctor. " She did not want Huldah to die on her hands, 
she knew." She is funny. 

Had such a fine variety of fruit at Dr. Carson's. Mr. Mc- 
Gregor from New Orleans is spending a few weeks at Dr. 
Carson's. We met him there last summer. He gives a very 
graphic description of affairs in the City. He is intelligent 
and talks well when he forgets there is a lady around, and he 
would be handsome if he were not so diffident. He was telling 
us the plan for blowing up the ship Brooklyn blockading the 
mouth of the river. 31 The plan is to make a small tug en- 
tirely bomb and ball proof by covering her entirely with 
railroad iron corrugated, to rim this little invincible right 
up to the ship, and to blow her up with a columbiad. 32 It is 
a private enterprise but if successful the projector will receive 
a large sum from the government. I should not think they 
would live to come back. 

July 19: Wrote to Uncle Johnny. Have been reading 
Arthur and His Round Table. He gives the impression of a 
henpecked Don Quixote. May like it better as I get on with it. 

Servants are busy making jellies and pickles. Mamma 
rode over in the evening to see Huldah. Ashburn, Brother 
Walter, and I ate cantaloupes and practiced rifle shooting. 
Mr. Newton spends tonight and tomorrow on the river. 

July 25: All just in from the gallery. The breeze as fresh, 
pure, and cool as the " Air that breathed o'er Eden," and the 
golden moon like a newborn world floats up beyond the trees, 
while sweet and clear rise the notes of " Bonnie Annie Laurie." 
A night of sweet and calm delight. 

Mamma, Mr. Newton, and I have all been sick and 
Wednesday none of us could go to breakfast. So the discon- 
solate boys had it all their own way. Now we are all well 
again. The Negroes are sick by the dozen and have been all 
summer. Little Caroline, it is feared, will die. Now that they 

31 The Brooklyn was part of the Federal Gulf Blockading Squadron 
formed early in 1861 to close Confederate ports. Battles and Leaders, 
I, 13. 

82 A heavy, smooth-bore, cast-iron cannon invented by Colonel George 
Bomford for use in the War of 181 2. 


are pulling fodder, it will put many more on the sick list. It 
is such hot work. 

July 26: Received telegraphic accounts of our first pitched 
battle fought at Manassas Junction 33 our side victorious, 
of course. A reported loss of 3,000 for us and 7,000 for the 
Yankees. The losses we hope are exaggerated. Reported that 
Gen. [Winfield] Scott and Mr. Davis were in command. If 
Gen. Scott is defeated, it will make our victory more com- 
plete. My Brother and Uncle Bo may have been in the fight, 
but we hardly think so as on the thirteenth they were still 
in Richmond. 

We, Mamma, Mr. Newton, and I, were just ready to ride 
out to Omega when Mrs. Hardison and her mother, Mrs. 
Alexander, drove up and soon after Mrs. Curry with her five 
oldest girls and Alice, Emma, and Bettie. 

Ashburn's company was on dress parade on the lawn. Al- 
together the place seemed to be overflowing with people. As 
Brother Coley said, we would have had to drive over women 
and children to get out of the yard. 

Yesterday as we were mounting to ride over the fields, Mr. 
Dobbs, Mr. Carson, and Mr. McGregor rode up. That pleas- 
ant ride was snipped short, but we spent a delightful evening 
until they bowed themselves away at eleven. 

Told Mr. McGregor's fortune by his request and during 
the incantations I feared his face would blister from the heat 
of his blushes. I wonder why he is so afraid of innocent, 
harmless womenfolks? My faith in Joe's powers of persua- 
sion is high. How did he ever induce Mr. McGregor to pay 
a social call when it is so painful to him? 

Monday, sent through the rain to Dr. Carson for fruit for 
preserving, and Mamma has put up some beautiful figs and 
peaches and quantities of apple jelly. Letters from Kate and 
Julia. Kate had made herself sick drilling and Julia was 
sewing on wedding garments. Julia was to have waited on 
Miss Mary Barr on Tuesday. Have not heard from the 

83 The Battle of Bull Hun or Manassas, fought in Virginia, July 21, 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST " 45 

Saturday. The boys are scattered through the country. 
Ashburn has gone to drill the militia. He is doing well to 
have learned the manual so soon and to be able to drill the 
men. Mamma made Brother Walter's uniform and he wore 
it out to the drill. It is vastly becoming to him. 

Sewed steadily most of the day to finish my organdy to 
wear to church tomorrow, but the boys say there will be no 
preaching. Our fourth Sunday without church. 

Mamma and Mr. Newton rode to Omega yesterday morn- 
ing and learned some of the details of the Manassas battle. 
It was gallantly fought and won. Poor Col. Bartow fell, 
banner in hand, rushing on so bravely. 34 Mr. Newton heard 
his brother George was in the fight but came through 

Tomorrow is a day of thanksgiving for victory. Mr. 
Newton leaves us for his home early Monday. He is busy 
tonight packing. How much we will all miss him. 

July 80: We are all sorry for Dr. Lily. Sunday, he sent 
Mamma word that he was going on to Richmond to see his 
brother and would take any letter or message. Mamma had 
only time to write a short letter to My Brother, and Brother 
Coley started with it and met Dr. Lily at the gate, just 
starting on his way to Richmond. He had received a dis- 
patch that his brother, a boy of seventeen, was dangerously 
wounded in the battle, and he was going on to be with him. 
All the gentlemen seem to be leaving for Richmond. Mr. 
Catlin sent us word that he would leave at once and we sent 
letters by him. 

Brother Coley and I have postponed our trip to Vicksburg 
two days, expecting the Carson and Savage families on a 
visit, but they failed us. Early tomorrow we get off anyway. 
Both Ashburn and Jimmy are ailing today, and little Caro- 
line died Sunday. 

We were quite anxious about Johnny. He went out to 
spend the day with Charley Dancy, and when he did not 
return, Mamma sent out twice for him. Brother Walter at 

34 Colonel F. S. Bartow, former mayor of Savannah, commanded a 
Georgia regiment. 


last met him jogging on home the next day with Charley, 
who will spend several days with him. Poor Charley. The 
visit is a doubtful pleasure to him. He looks a stranger in a 
strange land. 

Aug. 24: I returned Tuesday after a three-week visit to 
Aunt Laura in Vicksburg. Came all alone in the carriage 
from DeSoto 35 and it took all day. The mules, a fine, fat 
pair, could not be made to go out of a walk. I found out later 
they had had nothing to eat for twenty-four hours, since 
leaving in fact. Webster, about nightfall and eight miles 
from home, confessed that the corn had been stolen and that 
he did not buy the mules any more. I would have stopped 
anywhere and had them fed had I known it in time. The 
long, long, weary day dragging along at a footpace, we were 
about two hours after dark and it was pitch dark coming 
through the woods. I was horribly afraid and I know Web- 
ster was worse frightened than I was, but he did his best to 
keep me from being scared. He would call to me every now 
and then through the carriage window, "We will soon be 
there, Miss Kate. We's most through the woods. Ain't 
nothing gwine hurt you." I had been angry with him for 
starving the mules and thus throwing us in the night, but I 
forgave him when I saw how solicitous he was that I should 
not be frightened. 

Did not reach home until nearly ten, much to the surprise 
of the family who had given us out. Ashburn was to have 
been with me but I left him sick at Vicksburg. Such an 
unhealthy season. Everybody in the house, but Brother 
Coley, has been sick since I left, and I was in bed nearly a 
week. It has been raining for three weeks and is cool enough 
for fall. Mr. McRae fears it will make the cotton crop light. 

Chainey died of paralysis a few days ago. The place must 
indeed seem like a graveyard to the poor Negroes so many 
deaths since we moved here. Clearing land and digging 
ditches may make it worse now. 

35 Located on the peninsula created by a hairpin turn in the Mississippi 
in front of Vicksburg, DeSoto was the landing place of the Vicksburg 
ferry and the eastern terminal of the Vicksburg, Shreveport, and Texas 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 47 

The ladies have organized a sewing society to meet at 
Goodrich's and I am on the soliciting committee. 36 Mrs. Har- 
dison says she has been begging for me. I am afraid I will 
make a wretched solicitor. Shall ask for something else to do. 

Had a quiet but pleasant visit in Vicksburg. Nothing but 
war news talked of and sewing societies being organized to 
sew and knit. Mamma is a famous knitter of socks and can 
knit one a day. So far I am only capable of knitting com- 
forters 37 of crewel, but I shall advance to socks and gloves. I 
knitted nearly all the day coming from Vicksburg, for the 
slow pace did not interfere. 

Aug. 25: Joe Carson and Robert spent the evening, and 
Dr. Devine dropped in rather late and rode home with them. 
Rather a tiresome visit, and I was glad to bow them out. 

Johnny, Mamma, and I rode up to see how they were at 
Mrs. Hardison's. Mrs. Hardison and the baby both have 
fever, and Josa and the rest of the family look as if there was 
not an ounce of red blood between them the whitest, weak- 
est looking set of people. Saw the Nailors while in Vicksburg. 
Kate came in and spent the day with us at Aunt Sarah's, and 
Brother Coley and I went back with her and spent two or 
three days. It is very quiet and dull in that neighborhood 
this summer. Frank Nailor is back. He found he could do 
no soldiering as a private with one arm. He told us much 
about camp life and Brother and Uncle Bo. Uncle Bo is 
perfectly happy in camp now. He likes the free kind of life, 
roughing it. 

Kate spent the day before I left in Vicksburg with me and 
a busy day it was. We took Jessie and Horace to have their 
pictures taken which kept us until nearly dinner time. They 
were not good and Aunt Sarah sent them back. Wound 
wool and went over to Mrs. Butt's to get them to " put on " 
a comforter for Kate to knit. It is to be for Brother, just 
like the one I am making for Uncle Bo. 

After dinner Kate, Ashburn, and I went in the carriage to 
the levee to see the Swamp Rangers, Capt. Kup and Capt. 

36 These organizations made uniforms for local military units. 

37 A kind of woolen muffler. 


Sweet's artillery company, embark on their way to the 
front. 38 All the military companies in town escorted them 
down to the river and there was a great crowd. But the boats 
did not get off until the next morning. We saw the last 
leave-takings as we crossed on the ferry. Waving a farewell, 
we drove up to see the Southerns' Co. B drill, then back to 
Aunt Laura's, and Kate started home. It was high time with 
an eight-mile ride over those hills. Aunt Laura and I then 
rushed into our best bib and tucker and paid three calls 
before dark. The three Miss Butts came over and spent the 
evening, and when we did get to bed we were tired out. 

Kate and I went to the Episcopal church to see the last sad 
honors paid to Mr. William Cowan. He was buried with 
military and Masonic honors, one of the victims of the war. 
Death claimed him in the prime of life before he could fire 
one shot for his country. 

Aunt Sarah complains so much of loneliness and is so afraid 
to be alone that I would have remained longer with her, but 
I was anxious about Mamma and the boys. There is so much 

Aug. 28: Do I hear it raining again tonight? After three 
weeks of it and two bright days, it is too discouraging. From 
the middle of January all through the winter, most of the 
spring, and now most of the summer, have the heavens 
rained down upon us, and we are sick and tired of the mud 
and gloom. The boys go out and get wet, often several times 
a day. Brother Coley says he has not been really dry for three 
weeks, but we with our long dragging skirts are prisoners. 

Plaiting palmetto for baskets has been the rage for several 
days. Jimmy and I made one for him to carry for muscadines 
and persimmons. It, being our first, is rather odd as to shape 
and we call it the Brokenburn style. Nothing new to read 
and so I knit and plait and study a little. Ashburn and I dis- 
pute over the pronunciation of Spanish, which we have com- 
menced studying. 

I have slight chills and fevers and am being dosed on 

38 Military units organized in Vicksburg. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 49 

bitters and drugs of varied meanness. There is danger of 
congestion or swamp fever at this season. 39 

Wrote to Uncle Johnny, Cousin Jenny, and Mrs. Rossman. 
Sometime since, there was a letter from Virginia. No startling 
war news. 

Mr. Abe Curry is home on furlough. He was in the battle 
at Springfield, Mo., and he was twice knocked down but 
un wounded. Wish he would come over and tell us his 

Aug. 30: Mamma and Johnny are both in bed. Two 
lovely, dry days. Thank God for his sunshine. 

Brother Walter has gone to Vicksburg to stay a few weeks 
with poor lonely Aunt Sarah. She cannot be reconciled to 
staying alone in the house with the children, though she can 
almost touch the houses of her neighbors on each side. 

Mamma and I, after knitting awhile, went to work on 
the boys' uniform shirts. I did the machine stitching, but 
Mamma soon broke down and went to bed with a chill. 
Johnny was tossing with fever, Jimmy was reading on a 
gallery littered with our different work, Ashburn was extolling 
his new cartridge box, and Brother Coley was busy about 
dinner which he is overseeing while Mr. McRae is sick, when 
up rode Mr. Kaiser and Robert. Presto-change! Mamma 
declared her chill off and got up, Ashburn put away his 
wonderful box, Brother Coley forgot his grievances about a 
late dinner and went to receive them, Sister ran off to direct 
dinner, I switched into my room to dress, all the servants 
stopped to stare, and Jimmy alone remained quiescent 
reading on. 

They stayed until sunset. I played chess with Mr. Kaiser. 
He beat me well the first game; the second was a draw, 
though I must think I had the advantage. After they left, 
Mamma went back to bed and Jimmy, Sister, and I walked 
up to Mr. Hardison's over such great hard clods. All the 
sick there are improving except Henry, who is still quite ill. 

The two Mr. Currys and Mr. Hardison made us a long 

39 The chills and fever mentioned so many times hereafter was malaria, 
variously known as intermittent, congestive, billious, or swamp fever. 


visit yesterday. Mr. Abe Curry gives an interesting account 
of his campaign in Missouri and the battle of Springfield 40 
but says fully half of the people are opposed to us. He thinks 
the army there will suffer for clothes and shoes when the 
winter sets in. 

Mr. Hardison was kind in collecting the school fund for 

Aug. 31: A long interesting letter from My Brother of 
the thirteenth. They are still at Manassas. A short one from 
Kate detailing her trials with the comforter. It is a failure 
and mon cher frere must go comfortless this winter for all 
Kate can do. Ashburn and Brother Coley go out to drill in 
the cavalry company at Goodrich's. Mamma and Mrs. Har- 
dison exchange omelette souffles and peaches, both of them 
too unwell to enjoy anything eatable, but we well ones made 
way with the peaches. 

Sept. 1: Brother Coley, Sister, and I went to church at 
Willow Bayou over the worst roads that could be in the 
summer, a succession of big dry clods, and per consequence 
I am too tired to sit up another minute. Mamma and Johnny 
are about well at last. I am sitting under the bar, sleepy and 
tired, with the countless stings of mosquitoes smarting on my 
body and their steady ferocious hum sounding in my ears. 

Brother Coley and I attempted a game of chess, but all 
kinds of bugs held high carnival around us. I was soon 
vanquished and we retired from the gallery and sounded the 
retreat to bed earlier than usual. Joe Carson came out yester- 
day and spent the night. And all of them went hunting but 
killed no deer, though Joe in the ardor of the chase went in 
water up to his neck. Mrs. Alexander and the two little girls 
spent today with us. Ashburn went to the Bend Monday 
and brought us back an account of the concert to be given 
there for the benefit of the Milliken's Bend Guards. Only 
eight girls and Ashburn took dinner with Mrs. Reading that 
day to keep her from feeling lonesome. 

Mamma and I went out to the sewing society, formed that 

40 Springfield (Wilson's Creek and Oak HiUs) , Mo., August 10, 1861, 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 51 

day of Mrs. Carson and ourselves, and decided to get Mr. 
Hardison to write for material to work on. Then we went 
down to tell Mrs. Goodrich, who was too unwell to attend. 
Met Miss Springer and Miss Tabitha Scarborough, from 
Lake Providence. Miss Scarborough is Mrs. Goodrich's niece 
and is quite pretty with lovely dark eyes. 

Lunched with Mrs. Carson and returned to find Sister with 
high fever and Aunt Lucy bathing her head. Were glad we 
had not waited until evening to come home in the cool. 

We hear of the capture of Fort Hatteras 41 and the procla- 
mation of martial law in Missouri. 

We finished Ashburn and Brother Coley's uniforms this 
week. Mr. M. C. Williams gave Brother Coley a nice belt 
and rosette. Finished The House of the Seven Gables and 
did not like it much. Shall not care to read it again. Now 
The Marble Faun, I can read again and again. 42 The rain 
came down in torrents last night, stopping our projected 
visit to the Bend. 

Sister, Johnny, and Jimmy have been on the sick list today 
and this evening Ashburn went to bed with cold and fever. 
Mamma has just finished piecing up a large quilt commenced 
by my Auntie oh! so many years ago. 

This evening we rode down in a light shower to see how 
Mrs. McRae and Bettie were getting on, Mamma in a riding 
skirt of rags and tatters and I in a calico dress and the re- 
mains of my old green habit. We dashed up to the gallery in 
grand style, whipping up to escape the rain, when who should 
step up to help us ofl but Dr. Lily, the last person I would 
have expected. He had been sent for to see Bettie. As usual 
he was just coming down to see us. I wonder how we hurt 
his little feelings that he never comes now? Commenced 
knitting a sock but it is too complicated for my head. Shall 
confine myself to gloves and comforters. I am all right there. 

All the boys and I went yesterday to the quarterly meeting 
at the new Methodist church this side of Goodrich's. Mr. 

41 Fort Hatteras, N. C., August 28-29, 1861. 

42 Novels by Nathaniel Hawthorne, published in 1851 and 1860 


White preached a sermon insufferably old and irritating the 
fall of Rome, Napoleon, and autumn his themes. 
Little Sister is still sick. 

Sept. 10: Jimmy and I went to Milliken's Bend Saturday 
and I returned today. Visited Julia Reed at Mrs. Reading's 
and saw a number of the girls before the concert for the 
benefit of the soldiers. It came off on Monday evening. It 
went off splendidly, most of the girls we know being per- 
formers. Mary Gustine looked beautiful. She is the hand- 
somest girl in the parish and has an excellent voice, which she 
has just recently discovered, and is now taking singing 
lessons. Miss Carrie Lowry and Judge Byrnes took quite 
prominent parts, but the fun of the evening was Mr. Tip 
Sebastian's " Bob Ridley," and " Happy Land of Canaan." 
Joe Boyer's " The Bonnie Blue Flag " and chorus made a 
great hit a new war song. 43 Mamma and some of the boys 
came in the evening of the concert. We made the acquaint- 
ance of Mrs. Maher, Miss Carrie Lowry, Mr. Campbell, Mrs. 
Coney Morancy, Mrs. Bence, Miss Orr, Mrs. Reading's 
sister, and Mr. Al Lowry, oh! such a curious little fellow. 44 
Ashburn's cold and the long ride put him to bed today with 

Papers this evening. No reliable war news. See Mr. Chapin 
of Vicksburg has been arrested up North and is imprisoned 
in Fort Lafayette. Letter from My Brother says he has been 
on detached duty for a month working and sometimes has 
had only four hours sleep out of the twenty-four. He wished 
to return to his company but was highly complimented from 
headquarters and retained. 

I just finished a blue and stone colored comforter for Mr. 
Reading and shall knit a gay warm effect of some green and 
scarlet wool just received from Vicksburg. 

The ladies of the Bend have established a society for the 

43 Written by Harry B. MacCarthy at Jackson, Miss., early in 1861. 
Sung at the New Orleans Academy of Music in September, 1861, before 
soldiers on the way to Virginia, it immediately became popular. Richard 
B. Harwell, Confederate Music (Chapel Hill, 1950) , 56-59. 

44 Alfred J. Lowry, planter, came to Carroll Parish before 1835. He 
had a large family. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST 9 ' 53 

relief of the soldiers. They are in earnest and are working 
right along. 

Samples of winter goods from Barrier in New Orleans came 
today. We bought only calicoes but got some nice soft 
materials for the boys and Sister. 

Sept. 13: Thought we heard cannon firing in Vicksburg 
this afternoon. We must have gained another victory. God 
grant it may be a bloodless one for this household. Ashburn 
is almost sick with either whooping cough or a fearful cold. 
Mamma is unwell but busy making her dress. Made Jimmy's 
plait into a small basket to give to Lou Hardison, he says. 
Made John one and he often brings it in full of muscadines 
or wild grapes. All of us like wild grape lemonade, especially 
if feverish. There is generally a pile of the fruit heaped on a 
side table, and the boys make and drink lemonade all during 
the day. 

Busy sewing on the machine. Made a dress and hemmed 
three dozen towels the other day. Have my knitting for 
steady work. Jimmy is hard at work knitting a white yarn 
necktie. He made his own needles. Ashburn made a beauti- 
ful, polished pair for me. 

There are some great Negroes on the place. Mr. McRae 
found a barrel of pork in the cotton field and another barrel 
that had been opened and the meat taken. As pork foots up 
$35 per barrel, the stealing is trying. 

Went riding in the woods with Johnny, Jimmy, and Ash- 
burn. Wonka was in high feather and went like the wind 
so delightful. On our return we found Mr. Catlin sitting on 
his horse at the end of the gallery, making a call on Mamma. 
Mr. Abe Curry is getting up a subscription to pay his way 
back to the army. Brother Coley and Ashburn gave $5. It 
seems to me that if he cannot pay his own way, he should 
stay with his command and not take trips. All the money is 
needed to equip soldiers. 

Sept. 16: Johnny and I, he bestride an ambling mule and 
I on my good steed Wonka, went out to Omega this after- 
noon to buy flannel. Could get only red for Brother's under- 


clothes and did not get enough of that. Will have to finish 
the set with yellow. Could not get one of the things for My 
Brother in New Orleans. All winter furnishings for soldiers 
sold out they wrote us. 

Mamma has been unwell for the last three days, but she 
has knitted a sock a day and not seemed busy. Her grand- 
mother, Mrs. Ann Bohanan, taught her when she was a little 
girl and the knowledge comes in most usefully now. She 
has taught so many people of late. We have finished two 
calico dresses for Mamma. 

We fear Ashburn, Jimmy, and Johnny all have whooping 
cough. Ashburn must have taken it in Vicksburg, though he 
had it when a little fellow. There are seventeen little cribs 
of Negroes to have it in the quarters and Mamma dreads 
it getting among them. Thus the house is under strict 

It is rumored that Spain has recognized us as a nation. 
Hurrah! for Spain. 

Sept. 18: Twelve at night and I am so tired I can hardly 
sit up a minute longer. 

We were hard at work until sundown on Brother's flannels. 
As it will be so cold and he suffers so even here in the winter 
he is so sensitive to the cold we are making the shirts 
and drawers double, red on one side and yellow on the other. 
They look funny to me but are real warm. I wonder if he 
will like them. 

Mamma, Johnny, Ashburn, and I went out late for a short 
ride and stopped to see them weigh cotton the highest 165 
pounds. Joe Carson and a teacher, a New Yorker, were on 
the gallery when we returned. The teacher is looking for a 
situation. They did not stay very lale after supper. Sister 
and the three boys rouse the echoes with their coughing. 

Amelia Scott and Charley spent yesterday with us. Charley 
is a pleasant, nice looking young fellow. Other Pa [Grand- 
father Ragan] came quite unexpectedly Monday on his first 
visit for some months. He is looking well. We are luxuriating 
on home grown fruit of the finest variety, persimmons grow- 
ing just a few steps from the back fence in the pasture. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 55 

Sept. 19: Nearly everybody in the house is complaining. 
Other Pa and Mamma should be in bed. I am knitting a 
pair of gloves for Brother and earnestly desired to finish one 
today. Worked faithfully until 9 o'clock and then gave up 
for the night. Mamma started on the mate to mine this 
afternoon and will finish before I do. It is a laborious work 
to me and she does it with such ease. The long fingers are 
such a trial to get right. Fortunately, they are easy to rip. 
Shall I ever have courage to attempt another pair? 

All the boys are at work knitting with bones except Brother 
Coley and he is ambitious to learn. Other Pa learned when 
he was a little boy and has taught them, and he has knitted 
a complete glove today with long fingers. The gloves are for 
the soldiers and we are leaving the ends of the fingers open 
so that they can handle their guns well. Brother Coley went 
to the Bend but brought no news, warlike or gossipy. 

Sept. 20: The family all were sewing and knitting all day. 
We finished My Brother's gaudy underwear. I only hope he 
may have the hardihood to wear them. We, all together, 
have finished two pairs of gloves and all are busy on others. 

Sept. 25: Have a dreadful cold and am hoarse and out of 
sorts generally. Julia Reed and Anna Dobbs are with us. 
We went out to the sewing society yesterday, took dinner 
with Mrs. Carson, and brought Anna back with us. Col- 
lected materials to fill a hospital box which Mr. Goodrich 
will pack and send this week. Spent today pleasantly with 
the Morris girls. 45 Still feel a little overshadowed by Julia 
and Missie. What a gay, rapid talker Julia is. Got home 
just in time for supper, a little after dark. Anna and Brother 
Coley played hullgull. 46 Julia played, dozing on the sofa, with 
a running accompaniment of quarreling with Brother Walter. 
Mamma and I rested until early bedtime at ten. 

45 The Morrises lived on Bending Willow Plantation on Willow Bayou 
Mrs. Minerva Morris, widow and planter, was the mother of daughters 
Virginia, Louisiana (Lou) , Mississippi (Missie) , and Missouri (Zou) , 
and sons, Stafford and Henry. 

46 A game in which one player guesses at the number of beans or the 
like held hi the closed hand of another player. 


We were very busy Saturday and Monday packing the box 
for Brother and Uncle Bo. Besides the clothes, we sent 
quantities of preserves, cakes, and other eatables that will 
keep. Mrs. Hardison, Mrs. McRae, and Mrs. Carson all sent 
preserves and pickles to go in the box. I sat up until after 
twelve Saturday night finishing off a comforter for Lt. Floyd. 
We do not know him, only that he is a soldier, and while at 
work on his comforter we got a letter saying, " Please send 
something in my box for Lt. Floyd. He is from Kentucky and 
can get nothing from his family, and no one has sent him a 
thing/ 5 So I was glad I had started the comforter for him. 
Mamma, sent him gloves and socks and a message that the 
eatables were as much for him as our boys. 

Dr. Lily called last night, and so we are again on his 
visiting list. 

Sept. 27: Mr. Newton could not return as he has joined 
the army. Mamma put an advertisement in one of the Rich- 
mond papers for a tutor, and already the answers are coming 
in. Some only amusing. One innocent of either grammar or 

Julia and I spent yesterday and part of today at Mrs. 
Savage's. Were to take dinner at Mrs. Carson's and return 
this evening on horseback escorted by Brother Coley, Joe 
Carson, Robert, and Mr. Kaiser, but while on our way to 
Mrs. Carson's, we met Brother Coley and Lem Gustine. Lem 
had come for Julia, as her mother was quite ill, and so we 
drove on home. After a hasty dinner at three, Julia went on. 
We were to have had such a nice time visiting, thrashing 
pecan trees, receiving visitors, riding, and fishing. Had a nice 
visit, barring my throat being so hoarse that I could only 
speak in a whisper. It is our first cool day and we rode out in 
lightest summer muslins. Fortunately, we had wraps with us. 

Mamma is in bed with fever. Wesley's arm was almost 
crushed off in the gin broken in three places. Dr. Lily set 
it and thinks he can save it. 

No mail this week, but a rumor that 12,000 Federalists 
have taken possession of Mississippi City. That is bringing 
the war near us. How we wish the authorities could carry 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 57 

the war into Washington City. What an awful responsibility 
rests on our statesmen and generals. May God give them 

Sept. 29: Mamma, Johnny, and Brother Walter have 
been in bed the last two days with hard chills and fevers. A 
quiet day, except for the sick. Ashburn and I walked through 
the garden and through wreaths of love vine. If it grows and 
our wishes comes true, we will have strong faith in some old 

A Sabbath spent in our own indulgence instead of God's 
service a platitude, but how hard it is to be good for any 
length of time. 

Telegraphic news of a victory at Lexington, Mo., where 
5,000 men, stores, and $250,000 were captured. 47 May it be 

All the sick in the house are up again. Much sickness on 
the place. We went yesterday to the sewing society. All 
members were present. Got a little work to do, a dozen 
pillow cases. Made them this morning. Mamma, Ashburn, 
and Mr. Cavalier each contributed a bolt of domestic, and 
we cut it out and distributed it to be made. 

Brother Coley and I went after pecans yesterday. Brought 
back quite a lot, but they are rather too green yet awhile. 
The boys are still whooping like wild Indians with the cough. 

Mr. Catlin called this morning. Thinks Dr. Devine will 
soon be married to Miss Spann of Mississippi. Rumors of 
skirmishes but no pitched battles. Brother Coley is out at 
the Bend. The girls are to give a concert at Richmond next 
Monday. Hope we can go. 

Many answers from teachers. 

Oct. 3: Finished the ugliest calico dress I ever possessed 
and without assistance too. Mamma, Sister, Brother Walter, 
Ashburn, and I took the loveliest ride this evening. 

Oct. 4* All enjoyed a most glorious dash through the rain 
this evening. Had gone up to thrash a pecan tree near Mr. 
Hardison's when the shower came up and we raced home. 

47 Lexington, Mo,, September 12-20, 1861. 


All breakfasted this morning at sunup so that Brother 
Coley and Ashburn could get an early start to Willow Bayou 
to drill. Commenced another Zouave jacket to wear at 
home. 48 Mamma is busy cutting out the boys 3 and Sister's 
clothes. Jimmy suffers so with the cough. He looks so dis- 
consolate sitting holding his head by the hours. 

Went over to see Mrs. Curry about Miss Blankenship of 
Virginia who has been writing for the position of governess. 
Mrs. Curry will perhaps take her as they have no teacher. 
We are anxious about a teacher ourselves. The boys are 
wishing to be in school again, especially Brother Coley and 
Ashburn. They say they are losing so much time, as they 
are sure this will be their last year in the schoolroom. 

Oct. 7: Mamma is busy basting for the seamstress. I 
finished the red and white comforter for Capt. Peck, and it 
will go to him tomorrow in a box being sent his company 
from the Bend. I did not want to give such a pretty com- 
forter to him, but then he was an old friend of our Father 
and a soldier. 

Jimmy finished his comforter and we will take it in the 
morning with a number of articles made by Mrs. Curry, Mrs. 
McRae, and ourselves out to the sewing society. Little Kate 
Curry has knitted a pair of socks for the soldiers. Quite an 
achievement for such a small girl. 

Dr. Lily waylaid us wandering through the garden and we 
chatted out there until dark. Dr. Devine is to be married 
next Thursday. Dr. Lily is going and will report on the 
bride's dress and bring us a piece of dream cake. We would 
like to attend a wedding occasionally but have no chance. 

Expected Mrs. Savage's and Mrs. Carson's families out 
today and had many dainties for their regalement, but 'twas 
" love's labor lost." 

The rain last night, the gloomy day, and the illness of Mrs. 
Savage and Anna Nicholson prevented their coming. No 
news. The rumor of an attack on Washington was false. 

48 Harper's New Monthly Magazine, XXIV (February, 1862), 432, 
carried a fashion plate showing a lady's Zouave jacket. The note said, 
" Zouave jackets are now much in favor, and any fancy in relation to 
their form or material may be safely indulged/' 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 59 

My Brother's regiment is the only one now guarding 
Manassas Junction. Mr. McRae is quite sick and Brother 
Walter is overseeing. Brother Coley has the cough and can- 
not go among the Negroes. 

Oct. 8: Mamma, Sister, and I went out this morning to 
the sewing society. Not many present and only the twenty- 
five yards of cloth sent by Ashburn to be cut out and given 
to be made. Spent the balance of a very pleasant day at Mrs. 
Savage's. Thekla Norris is with them now. She has a cute 
little baby. Annie and Emily are sweet children. Got home 
after dark to a roomful of boys and a cheerful fire. 

Hear that Gen. Fremont has been cashiered for his battles 
lost in Missouri and that Gens. McClellan and Rosecrans are 
severely wounded. 49 Mail today, but no papers. Only four 
letters from teachers. 

Oct. 10: Mamma sent some pickles and I sent my last 
comforter, knitted of the odds and ends, out to Mrs. Carson 
to be put in a box she is sending to Lt. Clark, a Northern 
man in a New Orleans company. . . . 

Anna and Thekla called this morning. They could not 
spend the day as Thekla had to get back to the baby. Babies 
must be an awful nuisance at times. 

Most of the boys were out hunting until after dinner. Mr. 
Ewing came back with Brother Coley from the militia drill 
and took tea. Saw Mr. Hardison about my subscription 
paper. He will send it around to collect for me. Mamma 
and two or three of the boys are complaining. 

Oct. 12: Mamma is sick again with slight fever, and 
Jimmy is in bed with the cough and fever. Malvina has a 
little girl. Hope she will have better luck than with her 
others. She has lost two. Brother Walter, Sister, and I were 

49 General J. C. Fremont was the Federal commander of the Western 
Department, with headquarters in St. Louis. His forces had suffered 
several reverses, and he had lost favor with Lincoln when he attempted 
to emancipate slaves in his department. He was relieved early in Novem- 
ber.^. G. Randall, Lincoln, the President (New York, 1945) , II, 16-23. 
George B. McClellan and W. S. Rosecrans were Federal generals in 
western Virginia; the reports of their being wounded were false. 


just preparing to go to Mr. Hardison's and assist in a pecan 
hunt when Dr. " Tiger " Lily was announced and knocked 
my part of the frolic into pie. The others went, but surely 
we had a pleasant afternoon. He brought the wedding cake, 
Dr. Devine's, I made him a dream list, and he is to tell me 
the favored girl when he comes again. 50 

Johnny brought the mail. Letters from teachers and a 
long letter to Mamma from Fellowes & Co. wishing a list of 
everything she will need for the house and quarters next year, 
as they wish to make early arrangement to supply their cus- 
tomers. A long letter from My Brother. He is assistant 
provost marshal at the head of twenty-five men ferreting out 
spies and hunting up deserters. The idea of men deserting 
from the Southern Army! He writes in high spirits. 

Joe Carson spent the night and all went hunting. Mackey 
Fontaine killed the deer, his second this week. We are tired 
of venison. News of a victory for us at Santa Rosa Island 
and the repulse of " Billy Wilson " and his " forty thieves " 51 
reports of skirmishes and small battles wherever there are 
armies, except the Army of the Potomac. 

Oct. 15: No preaching at either church. Mamma is too 
unwell to go anyway. Mr. Holbury's little girl was very ill 
with spasms, and her father was so frightened that without 
testing the heat he put her in a tub of scalding water. She 
is dreadfully burned and it is doubtful whether she will re- 
cover, though it did end the spasms. Monday, Mamma was 
still in bed and I am ashamed to confess what a bad humor 
I was in worrying over a pair of trousers that would not be 
made right. I do not think Brother Walter will like the fit. 
How trying and ugly to make boys clothes are. 

This morning Mamma felt better and so we went out to 

50 " A slice of bride cake . . . laid under the head of an unmarried 
man or woman will make them dream of their future wife of husband." 
Encyclopedia of Superstitions, ed. E. and M. A. Bedford (New York, 
1949) , 48. 

51 Confederate forces under General R H. Anderson attacked the camp 
of Colonel William Wilson's 6th New York Zouave Regt. on Santa Rosa 
Island, Fla, on the night of October 9. Part of the camp was burned 
before Federal reinforcements from Fort Pickens arrived and the Con- 
federates withdrew. Battles and Leaders, I, 3. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 61 

the meeting of the sewing society and took the purple com- 
forter I had just finished. Called on Mrs. Carson and took 
dinner at Mrs. Savage's, meeting Mrs. Owen, her niece from 
Delhi, Mr. Catlin, and Miss Narcisse Morgan. Miss Morgan 
and her sister have recently returned from a long sojourn in 
the North, educated there. I think their place is just below 
Mrs. Savage's. She is homely but self-confident, dresses well, 
and has Northern manners and accent. Met Dr. Devine 
while returning dressed in all his " braws " and looking most 
happy. Mrs. Carson gave Mamma plants of sweet olive, 
magnolia fuscata and purple magnolia. We are so pleased to 
get these favorite plants. She has been most kind and is very 

Annie Nicholson is ill again and so thin and white " she 
looks one of the dim shades/' We are invited out Thursday 
to meet the Tibbetts family. 

Oct. 17: Too rainy yesterday for our visitors to venture 
out and too bad today for us to go to Mrs. Savage's. Busy 
all day sewing on the boys' trousers, a dress for Sister, and 
altering an old silk. Between times I am knitting a pair of 
gloves for My Brother. Lt. Williams is home on furlough and 
Mamma will send a box to My Brother and Uncle Bo by him. 

Mamma has put off her visit until next Monday and I fear 
she will not get off at all. For four weeks she has kept us 
all stirred up expecting her to get off every few days. Now 
no one is much sick and Mr. McRae is at work again, looking 
ghostly. She can be spared now. We will try to have her 
make the " big go " Monday. Have taken up some plants 
to keep in the house, geraniums, mignonette, violets. 

Have slept on my paper and dreamed my best but to no 
purpose, " nobody coming to marry me, nobody coming to 
woo." 52 

No war news and no teacher. It is late for the boys to be 
out of school. Brother Walter is still helping Mr. McRae. 

My Brother is a good son for he recently sent Mamma $50. 
He must have deprived himself. She will keep it for 
when he returns. Oh! to see him. 

52 See note 50. 


Oct. 19: What a joyous evening to us all. My Brother 
came a complete surprise to us all. Sent home on sick fur- 
lough. He has had typhoid fever for a month and as soon as 
convalescent the surgeon sent him home. He looks taller and 
has lost forty pounds. Home life and love will soon build him 
up. He came at dusk. We have kept him talking until 
eleven, and that was not wise, as of course he is tired. He 
told us many funny anecdotes of his experiences as assistant 
provost marshal. He likes the marshal exceedingly. How 
horrible is the idea of the visitors to the Manassas battlefield 
rifling the graves of Northern soldiers for mementoes. They 
should be put in the front ranks of the next battle. It is 
positively ghoulish. Johnny went out for the mail and 
brought My Brother instead. Mr. Bledsoe kindly sent him 
out in his buggy. Our heartfelt thanks go up to God for 
having returned to us our best beloved brother, 

Oct. 21: My Brother is improving and held quite a levee 
today. Mr. and Mrs. Hardison came yesterday. Mr. Curry, 
Mr. Selser in the morning. Mr. Valentine spent the day. Dr. 
Carson came. Dr Lily took tea. Mr. Hardison as sensible, 
Mrs. Hardison as independent, Mr. Selser as dry, Mr. Curry 
as talkative, Dr. Carson as earnest and pleasant, and Mr. 
Valentine as cynical and amusing as always all so interested 
in everything pertaining to the war, every detail or amusing 
incident of camp life. 

Early this morning Brother rode over the place. He says it 
is in excellent order and a better crop than he anticipated. 
Mr. McRae crept up to see Brother this evening, the first 
time he has been out for weeks. He thinks the boys have had 
whooping cough too long to give it to My Brother, should 
he be liable to it. Tom and Felix commenced on the servants' 
rooms today, the house to be in the yard just opposite the 
kitchen. Mamma wrote to engage Mr. Wilkinson from Vir- 
ginia as teacher. None of us will ever like another teacher 
as well as Mr. Newton. 

Frank Nailor is at last married. The bride, Miss Mary 
Gee, is a neighbor of theirs and quite an heiress. Suppose 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 63 

Kate waited on them. She will write me the particulars. 
Many have been his sweethearts and affaires de cceur. 

Lou West (Mrs. Schultz) is dead. A bright intellect and a 
kind, warm heart has ceased to be. I saw her when I was 
last in Vicksburg and she was looking so strong and well. She 
was always a picture of health and vigor. She was married 
less than a year ago. The killing of Mr. Lake by Mr. Cham- 
bers was a very sad and unnecessary affair a street fight or 
duel, we have not known which. 

Oct. 22: Mr. A. Richardson, Mr. Drew, and Ben Clark- 
son were here this morning and we expected and prepared for 
Mrs. Savage and Mrs. Carson's families. Several are sick so 
that they could not come, and so we may eat our dinner with 
Mr, Valentine's assistance. The boys have been thrashing 
and cutting pecan trees and have brought in lots of nuts. 
We hate for them to cut the trees. Shall stop it. 

My Brother is a bright yellow, even the skin of his head, 
like an orange or a pumpkin, and Dr. Lily has prescribed 
sugar cane for him. He is to eat all of it he can. Dr. Carson 
sent him a wagonload of it by the wagon that carried out the 
cotton that Mamma and others subscribed to the sewing 

Oct. 24"" Brother and many others went hunting early 
this morning, the first frost of the season whitening the grass, 
but not enough even to kill the cotton. Jimmy killed the 
deer, his first victim after so many trials. Johnny and I 
followed the dogs for some distance. The chase is certainly 
exciting sport. No wonder men like it so. 

Ashburn, Sister, Johnny, and I were all out after pecans 
when we heard the dogs coming, and Johnny and I joined 
the chase for a mile or two a delightful dash. 

Brother Coley, Sister, Johnny, and two of the house ser- 
vants had chills today. Do hope frost will stop the sickness. 
Joe Carson spent the evening and is staying the night. He is 
charmed to have beaten me two games of chess. 

Mamma had carpets put down yesterday and today with 
Aunt Lucy doing most of the superintending. Mrs. Hardison, 


Lou, Alice, and George spent yesterday. Mr. Valentine and 
Dr. Lily failed to come. No war news. 

Oct. 28: Today is but a catalogue of chills. Ashburn and 
Brother Coley shivered through the morning and burned all 
the evening. Timely doses of quinine kept them off Sister 
and Johnny. Sister has been sick since Friday and Mamma 
had Dr. Lily for her. Charles and Sarah are up today and 
Lucy and Prank down. 

My Brother went out this evening to see Dr. Carson. His 
appetite is better and he is gaining strength. 

They are digging potatoes today. Promises to be a noble 
lot. Annie is helping Uncle Hoccles gather the goober peas 
[peanuts]. It looks like a month's job for him. Jimmy and 
I made some pecan and pull candy this evening and I wish 
we had not. Brother Walter teased and worried us, and we 
all got tired of it and appealed to Mamma when Brother 
Walter flew into one of his unreasoning rages (fortunately 
such attacks are rare) and behaved so badly that we have 
all been uncomfortable ever since. He is the only one of my 
brothers I ever thought really needed punishing and the only 
one I ever feel like quarreling with. I believe he is the bright- 
est of all the boys, converses so well, has Mamma's gift in 
that, and looks more like her than any of her children. 

Mrs. Savage and Mrs. Carson came out at 1 o'clock Satur- 
day just as Frank was setting the table. We did not care to 
give them " pot luck," and so dinner was put off until three 
and was then quite a spread. Their visit was primarily to My 
Brother and oh! the dozens of questions Mrs. Carson thought 
up to ask him. 

Anna Dobbs has gone out to Tensas Bayou with Thekla, 
and Mrs. Savage will go out there tomorrow on a visit. She 
will bring one of her nieces back to live with her and to go 
to school. 

Nov. 5: We have all been busy with sick people and 
visitors. Tuesday we sent the carriage for Mrs. Reading, 
Julia Reed, and the children and servants. All came just as 
dinner had been cleared away and another had to be cooked 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 65 

right away. Talking and knitting were the order of the 

Julia, Johnny, and I mounted our steeds in the early, 
frosty morning air and cantered off to the woods in search of 
woodsy treasures pecans, persimmons, and grapes. We so 
enjoyed the ride, the woods, and the bright fall weather that 
we did not get home until nearly dinner time. After supper 
euchre and knitting occupied us until bedtime. Oh! the socks 
and gloves that we have made! Mrs. Reading's little girls, 
Sally and Jenny, are having a gay, good time and seldom stop 

Nov. 8: Thursday was a lovely, cool day. Mrs. Reading, 
Julia, Jimmy, and I were just starting to get Mrs. Hardison 
all to go on a long delightful ride through the woods 
when Mrs. Curry with Mary, Huldah, and George drove up 
and spent the day. So farewell to our riding frolic. In the 
afternoon Julia, Ashburn, and I excused ourselves, as we had 
a previous engagement, and rode out to Dr. Carson's with 
our horses tangled with cocldeburs, but we were too late to 
have them pulled. The cockleburs are such a nuisance in the 
fall. We arrived just at dark, taking Mrs. Carson by surprise 
a pleasant surprise she assured us and as hospitable as 
they are, I hope it was true. We certainly had a pleasant 
time, though the saddle had rubbed me so I felt half flayed. 

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bailey were there and stayed until 
after tea. She is very pretty, a Natchez girl. Came home the 
next evening escorted by Johnny and Joe Carson. Though 
the day was " cold and dark and dreary/' we had a gay 
gallop home. 

Saturday Julia awoke with a chill and Mrs. Reading and 
the children went home, leaving Julia to our tender mercies. 
I made a little basket for Jenny that Mamma had promised 
her sometime, and she prevailed on her mother to wait for 
two hours while I worked and finished it. 

Joe and the boys went hunting, Robert came back from 
the drill with Ashburn, and Mary Gustine came in the car- 
riage on its return from the Bend. Julia got up to supper and 
we all had a gay evening with songs, music, and games. 


Sunday we all went to church out at the new church and 
heard a good sermon preached to a very good congregation. 

Monday, although Julia swallowed quantities of quinine 
and imbibed hot tea all day and covered up in bed under 
piles of blankets, she had a chill just the same and was quite 
sick. Mary, the boys, and I were up until half past twelve. 
My Brother and all the boys went out to the election of state 
and parish officers. Tuesday Julia was much better and 
insisted on going home to see her mother, who has just re- 
turned from a visit of several weeks in New Orleans. So she 
and Mary Gustine got off in the carriage about eleven, and 
Mr. Valentine came over at twelve to spend the day, thinking 
both of the girls would be here. Mrs. Hardison stopped for 
a few minutes at the gate and said they did nothing at the 
sewing society. 

Wednesday My Brother and the boys went to Goodrich's 
to the Presidential election. Davis was unanimously elected, 
not an opposing vote. 53 He was the only candidate. Will any 
other candidate ever have such an easy run over the presi- 
dential race track? For six long years President Davis may 
rest secure as the head and front of our grand young nation. 
My Brother spent the night with Mr. Valentine, and the boys 
took supper at Dr. Carson's. 

Thursday afternoon Theresa and Mollie Bass called. Could 
not induce My Brother to come in and of course they wanted 
to see him. He said he was too busy having the sugar cane 
primed to plant next spring. Theresa is looking exceedingly 
pretty and Mollie is improving wonderfully in looks. 

Friday My Brother thought he would go to the Bend to 
see Mary Gustine and Julia. But when he sent for his horse, 
the boys were just starting on a hunt, and this temptation 
was so strong that " he just went to the dogs " and galloped 
off in the chase. We were sitting, in the evening, on the back 
gallery enjoying the brilliant moonlight and quietly talking 
when someone telegraphed from the kitchen, " Company at 

53 In February, 1861, the Montgomery convention had chosen Jeffer- 
son Davis as provisional President for one year. In November, elections 
were held for permanent officers, and Davis was elected on a permanent 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST 9 ' 67 

the front door/ 5 and we heard subdued whispering at the 
horse rack. Instantly rose smothered cries for Frank, Web- 
ster, and lights not a light was in the house and earnest 
appeals to someone to run to the front door, which on being 
opened discovered Anna Dobbs, Joe Carson, Robert, and Mr. 
Bowman. They said they had been knocking a long time and 
had about concluded that we had all gone to bed or were 
away. Soon all were collected candles, visitors, and family 
and after awhile supper was served. Spent the evening 
playing games, telling fortunes, and chatting until the young 
men made their bows at eleven. Anna and I had a long bed- 
room talk and we were late getting to sleep. 

Nov. 9: This morning Anna, Johnny, Jimmy, Brother 
Coley, and I rode out to Omega. Jimmy was going for but- 
tons for My Brother's shirts and we were going only " a 
piece " with him. But the roads, the weather it misted on 
us all the way and the fine condition of our horses tempted 
us on, and we went all the way, returning by Winn Forest in 
search of grapes and pecans. Got enough to eat on our way 
back. Rode up at a sweeping gallop. We had not spared our 
horses all the way but it was too cool a day to hurt them. 
Wonka is well again, in splendid keeping. He is a darling. 
Found Mamma entertaining Mr. Catlin, established for the 
day. Rather dull. 

After dinner My Brother and Mr. Catlin went out to the 
river, first to see about the work on the levees and then to 
take tea at Mrs. Savage's. Later in the evening Anna and 
Brother Coley went out. My Brother's last day at home 
for many, many months, we fear. 

Nov. 10: It was late when My Brother and Brother 
Coley got back last night after a pleasant visit. Neither of 
them admire Rose Norris, Mrs. Savage's niece, who has come 
to live with her. They represent her as " fat, cross, affected, 
high tempered, stubborn, and ugly," a harsh judgment and 
long list of faults for one short evening spent together. I hope 
our impressions will be more pleasant than Brother Coley's 
and more favorable than My Brother's. 


My Brother left us today to join his regiment at Evans- 
port on Occoquan Creek in Virginia. His health is quite re- 
stored but Oh! how we hate to give him up. His visit home 
has been such a delight to us. When will he come to gladden 
our hearts again? Mamma went with him as far as Vicks- 
burg. He will not get off until Tuesday and so she will be 
with him longer. She will then pay Aunt Sarah the long 
promised visit. I hope she will enjoy her stay and that the 
change of air will benefit her health. She has been unwell so 
much of the year. They got off about twelve and we spent a 
lonely afternoon. The light of home leaves with Mamma. 

Ashburn had quite a hard chill and still has fever. 

Nov. 11: Ashburn was quite ill all day and all last night. 
He has had four chills since yesterday morning, one today at 
twelve and o'clock. We were up with him last night and at 
daybreak I sent down for Mr. McRae and Dr. Lily. Dr. Lily 
has been here all day and will remain tonight. I am so un- 
easy about Ashburn and glad Dr. Lily will be here all night. 
If he is not much better in the morning, will send for Mamma. 

The barrel of flour arrived very opportunely this evening. 
Was beginning to be afraid we would have to do without 
" flour fixings." We had already borrowed from Mrs. Curry 
and Mrs. McRae. 

Nov. 27: How can I write the record of the last two 
weeks? It seems that the trouble and grief of years has been 
pressed into that short space of time. Ashburn, our darling, 
has gone, never to return. Oh! how we miss him every hour 
in the day. The noble, gentle heart and the loving sensitive 
nature are stilled forever, passed from the world as though 
they had never been. What great thoughts, loving wishes, 
and proud hopes lie buried in his grave. So young, so bou- 
yant, so full of life and happiness, brilliant with the very joy 
of living such a little while ago, and now dead dead to it 
aU. . . . 

Nov. 28: Ashburn died on Tuesday, November 12, at 11 
o'clock at night of swamp fever. We sent for Mamma very 
early Tuesday morning, but she could not get here until 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 69 

Wednesday morning too late. She was so dreadfully dis- 
tressed. As soon as he died. Brother Coley started at once to 
Vicksburg to meet Mamma and to make arrangements for 
the burial. He reached DeSoto just as she crossed the ferry, 
and as soon as she saw him she knew the worst. Brother 
Walter had gone for her and brought her back. She so re- 
proached herself for leaving him when he was sick, but we 
told her everybody on the place had been sick off and on all 
summer and she could not know this would be a serious 
illness. She loved him so. We always told her that she loved 
and indulged him more than any of us, and she always said, 
why, he was the best boy of them all and never gave any 
occasion to be scolded. 

Nov. 29: Mr. Reading is out tonight to say good-bye 
as his furlough is out, and he is off for the tented field. He is 
in high spirits and evidently prefers this wild reckless life to 
the humdrum life of the family man. 

Joe Carson came out while we were planting some flowers, 
sent us by Mrs. Savage, in the new garden. He came on busi- 
ness and stayed only a short time. Brother Coley and Walter 
went out with him to see the ram Manassas 54 which has run 
aground just below Mr. Newman's. She is on her way up to 
help the gunboats at Columbus. 

It was a hard fought battle and a glorious victory for us 
at Belmont. 55 

The boys are just back and I hear them in the dining room 
eating supper. They saw only the outside of the Manassas. 
It has been there two days and several boats are trying to 
pull her off the bar. 

We have not heard from My Brother since he left two 
weeks ago. His regiment is now at Leesburg, Va. 

We are looking for the teacher every day. He was to leave 
Virginia on the fourteenth and should have been here some 

54 The Manassas was part of the Confederate fleet which drove the 
Federal gunboats from the mouth of the Mississippi October 11-12, 
1861. H. Allen Gosnell, Guns on the Western Waters (Baton Rouge, 
1949) , 35-43. 

55 Belmont, Mo., November 7, 1861. 


days ago. The boys are very impatient over the delay. They 
realize the importance of this year's study. 

Dr. Buckner writes that they will be up next Saturday. 
They stayed from Wednesday until Friday when they came 
up to Ashburn's funeral. He was buried Thursday in a clump 
of woods just back of the house, the new family graveyard. 
Our Father and two little sisters were removed there from the 
old graveyard a year ago. 

Here at home all seems strangely dull and sad. I know 
Ashburn's death is a bitter blow to Other Pa, the child of his 
old age, his Benjamin. 

A warm lovely week, a wanderer from the April sisterhood. 
No frost and the flowers are still in fullest bloom roses and 
annuals, as gay as in May. "The Melancholy days have 
come " for our household but not for Dame Nature. The 
boys have been out hunting most of the day with poor 
success one duck but the woods are full of game and the 
lakes covered with ducks. 

Brother Coley and Mr. Reading went to attend the drill at 
Willow Bayou and to bid adieu to Mr. Reading's friends. 
They went from there to Omega. No mail. But Brother 
Coley brought back the paper containing the resolutions of 
sympathy passed by the Willow Bayou company on Ash- 
burn's death. How he loved all military matters. 

Mamma was talking tonight of her early days. She was 
married before she was sixteen, before she had left school, 
but she had been out enough to reject ten lovers before she 
met papa. All of them are living still. She was and is a 
beautiful woman of most attractive manner and a brilliant 
conversationalist with a great power of attracting love, the 
first and greatest gift that can be bestowed on anyone. She 
has the most cheerful, brightest spirit and is a brave resource- 
ful woman. None of the children bear a strong resemblance 
to either her or our Father. Brother Walter is most like her. 

Nov. SO: Our first cold, bright day of fall at last. Mr. 
Wilkinson, the teacher, at last arrived this morning, and Dr. 
Buckner, Aunt Laura, and dear little Beverly arrived this 
evening. Really the first visit they have ever paid us here. 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 71 

Beverly is certainly as charming a little fairy as ever danced 
over the greensward. 

This is the last day of a month that brought us unmixed 
joy and hopeless sorrow. My Brother was with us at its 
commencement and now at the close he is in camp again, and 
one of our dearest and best has bidden farewell to Earth and 
floated out on the dark river. 

Several battles during the month Leesburg and Belmont, 
victories for us, and Port Royal where we suffered defeat. 56 

A letter from Brother to Mamma, our first news. He had 
just arrived at Leesburg and would start in an hour with his 
company on picket duty and would perhaps be out several 
weeks. Had not seen Uncle Bo as the Southerns were already 
doing picket duty. The boys were off hunting until after 
dark and brought back a large buck, Brother Coley's spoils 
of the chase. Beverly, with tears streaming down her dear 
little face at the sight, exclaimed, " Oh! poor deer, I so sorry 
for him, poor deer. 0! Aunt Manda, please have a piece of 
him for my bekfus." 

Mr. Wilkinson is quite a young man, graduated in June at 
Columbia College, D. C. Very tall and ungainly, topped by a 
high stovepipe hat and riding on a little mule with short 
stirrups, he was a figure of fun when he rode up. He betrays 
a weakness for jewelry and fancy vests and has decidedly a 
verdant look. He is exceedingly polite, rises and remains 
standing when a lady enters or leaves a room, a Virginia 
custom I hear. Spent most of the morning writing to Kate, 
My Brother, Cousin Jenny, and Miss Blankenship. 

Dec. 2: School opened today, Mr. Wilkinson's first at- 
tempt. A biting north wind, but as yet no frost to kill the 
flowers. All the annuals and roses in full bloom. Mrs. Carson 
came out this morning to call on Aunt Laura and brought a 
lot of greenhouse cuttings for us. Dr. Buckner rode out, mis- 
sed the boat, and so returned. Beverly is a darling little 

56 Try mentioning Leesburg, the writer is referring to engagements in 
late October near the town at Ball's Bluff and Edward's Ferry. Port 
Royal, off the South Carolina coast, was seized by the Federal Navy. 


Preaching at Willow Bayou Sunday, but none of us went. 
Not a profitably spent Sabbath. 

Dec. 7: Dr. Buckner rode down on horseback to Vicks- 
burg last Wednesday. Tuesday Mrs. Curry and three of her 
girls spent the day. She looks dreadful and lay down most 
of the time. I really like Mrs. Curry. She is kindhearted, but 
she certainly is funny. She is so different from other people 
that one never knows what she is going to do or say. She 
says Mr. Holbury and family are really in need of the neces- 
saries of life. They must have suffered but for the kindness 
of Mrs. Carson and Mrs. Curry. We have been culpably 
careless, so taken up with our own grief that we have not 
thought of the woes of others. We will try to do better. 

Brother Coley and I rode out to Mr. Holbury's late 
Wednesday afternoon to take him $20. He was kind in com- 
ing out when we were in trouble. No one was at home, and 
so we sealed the money in an envelope and gave it to the 
old Negro who came to take our horses. I rode Longfellow, 
one of the carriage horses, as Dr. Buckner had ridden Wonka 
to Vicksburg, Wonka's first long trip since Uncle Bo rode 
him down there in May when he left for the army. 

Thursday Mrs. Hardison came, stopping our afternoon 
ride. Sister is just up this morning from a three-day spell of 

Dr. Devine came out Friday. While we were at dinner 
Mrs. Savage and Anna came in, Anna to remain two or three 
days. Dr. Lily dropped in during the afternoon and went out 
duck hunting with the boys. They brought in three ducks 
and he spent the evening. He is prone to flattery and " sweet 
nothings." Mamma and Aunt Laura retired rather early but 
we were up until twelve. Anna put Brother Coley's hair up 
in curl papers, and this morning he roused her at sunup to 
come out and take it down for him. After breakfast he 
allowed Anna to cut it for him and a funny job she made 
of it. He had to leave before she finished to go hunting with 
the boys and Mr. Wilkinson. Anna is not a born barber. 
Robert came for Anna, and as the weather was very threaten- 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST 93 73 

ing, they took lunch and left early. Mamma was busy sewing 
on underclothes. 

The hunters returned at four, just in time to miss the rain, 
with a fine deer killed by Brother Walter. Mamma had 
Webster to mount a mule at once and carry a quarter to Mrs. 
Carson and one to Mrs. Savage. 

We spent the evening eating sugar cane sent out by the 
Carson boys and teaching Mr. Wilkinson backgammon, or 
rather, trying. 

Beverly is certainly enjoying the country and the sugar 
cane. Her maid Clara is so good to her. 

Mr. Wilkinson has tried teaching this one week and is 
utterly incapable of teaching any but the two youngest 
children. Mamma has had an explanation with him, and he 
will stay here until he gets other employment, or if he fails 
in that Mamma has asked him to stay until spring. Mamma 
wrote at once for another teacher and Mr. Wilkinson will do 
the best he can for the boys until the other teacher arrives. 
He is wonderfully ignorant to have graduated anywhere. 
When Mamma spoke to him, he confessed that he could not 
teach the boys. He said he thought he was coming to an out- 
of-the-way, illiterate place and would have no trouble teach- 
ing anybody he might be thrown with. But he said he realized 
the first day that he had made a mistake, that Brother Coley 
was already far in advance of him, that the other boys knew 
as much as he did, and that he did not know what to do. He 
thanked Mamma very heartily for her kindness as he had 
no money to return. His home will be here until Mamma can 
find a place for him to teach little children. There may be 
an opening near here. For several days he was very sad, but 
now that there has been an explanation, he has brightened up 
and is quite cheerful. He has the most grotesque way of 
nodding his head up and down, up and down, all the time he 
is talking, or eating, or even reading. Does it unconsciously 
and looks like a toy Mandarin. 

Made some candy for Beverly and all enjoyed it more than 
the wee lady. 

Dec. 22: I have been sleeping with Mamma and so I have 


not written for some time, as night is my time for scribbling. 
Aunt Laura left us ten days ago after a two- week stay, and 
she seemed to enjoy so much being with us all, especially 
Mamma. Her visit was a pleasure to us. She took the boat 
in the evening. Brother Coley went down with her and 
returned next day on the same packet to find Joe and Robert 
here just back from a big hunt. Most of the hunters in the 
country were out and not a deer brought in. Huldah and 
Mary also spent the night. After two weeks of the lovliest 
warm spring weather with skies as blue and bright as bend 
over Italian plains, we wake to hear a soft, warm rain patter- 
ing down, and so no church for us today. And none of us 
went last Sunday. Sunday spent at home is a long, weary 
day. Joe Carson came back from Mrs. Savage's with Brother 
Coley Friday night, and they were off before day on a hunt, 
getting in at sundown with a fawn killed by Mr. Wilkinson, 
who was so delighted and excited that he actually had fever 
when he returned. But thinking of the matter, fatigue must 
have had something to do with it, as he is utterly unused to 
hunting and horseback riding, and they had been out all day. 

Other Pa came Friday night. He looks better than we 
expected but seems older. It may be because he has turned 
out his whiskers, which are perfectly white. 

The greatest news of all Uncle Johnny is married. On the 
seventeenth of this month he gave his heart and hand to 
Miss Kate Boone, a girl from Charleston, S. C., who has 
been visiting her brother at Pine Bluff, Ark., for some months. 
She is quite a young girl, not more than seventeen, while 
Uncle Johnny is thirty-five. We wish them every happiness 
and I wish he would bring her down to see us. I only hope 
he will not try to educate her according to his theories but 
will let her go on as Nature and her own antecedents and 
education would have her. But for years he has had the idea 
of marrying a very young girl and moulding and educating 
her according to his pet theories. My mind misgives me that 
such is still his plan. Other Pa left the day after the wedding, 
which was very quiet. He is not pleased with the marriage, 
though he does not say much against it. Uncle John is 

1861: "OUR CAUSE IS JUST" 75 

editing a paper in Pine Bluff. He is a most impracticable man 
with so many theories, and he has made ducks and drakes of 
all the money inherited from Other Ma [Grandmother Ragan] 
and every other cent he could get. We hope marriage will be 
his salvation, an anchor to keep him from drifting with every 
tide, or feeling, or impulse. Johnny says he shall call his new 
Aunt " Aunt Boone." He likes it better than " Kate." I have 
pre-emption title on that name. 

Hurrah! Mr. Wilkinson has secured a situation at Mr. 
Matt Johnson's at a salary of $100 per month to teach Mrs. 
M. Johnson's little brothers. I think they live at Wilton near 
Goodrich. Certainly it seems " a fool for luck " is verified in 
his case. He is so silly and so green, altogether hateful. Can 
only interest him by talking about girls. He pretends to be 
desperate about Anna Dobbs and has seen her only twice. 
He asked Brother Coley did not the teachers down here 
always marry rich girls? That was enough for the boys and 
Robert and Joe. They have been telling many marvelous 
tales of the great wealth of the girls, how especially suscepti- 
ble they are to teachers from a distance and so admire their 
manners and style, and running many " rigs " 57 on him. He 
has not sense to see it. He will leave us a few days after 

Uncle Hoccles came today to get a pass to go over and see 
his children in Mississippi. 58 Last Christmas when Mamma 
gave him the pass, we all said it would be for the last time. 
He is so old, but he looks stronger and better now than then. 

There will be no merrymaking for us this Christmastide. 
Aunt Laura when here promised to send her piano to us to 
keep as long as I wished, until we buy one. We were so 
pleased at the offer and now she writes to say it will be 

57 Playing jokes. 

58 The pass was necessary to prevent his being taken as a runaway. 
The Black Code, promulgated by Bienville in 1724 and later revised, 
provided that a slave caught on horseback without written permission 
should be arrested, given twenty-five lashes, and sent back to his master, 
who would be charged twelve and one-half cents per mile for his return. 
Frederick W. Williamson, Northeast Louisiana, A Narrative History of 
the Ouachita River Valley and the Concordia Country (Monroe, La., 
1939) , 138-39. 


shipped on Tuesday's boat. It is so kind of her and what a 
resource it will be to me, though I have forgotten about all 
my music. 

Sister went home with Aunt Laura. She is very well and 
enjoying the visit. 

Mrs. Virginia Cavalier, the oldest sister of the Morris girls, 
died a week ago of swamp fever. She was a widow with two 
young children and a very attractive woman. Her brother- 
in-law, Mr. Joe Cavalier, has been addressing her for the 
last year, so report says. 


'Jkese troublous times'' 

Jan. 6: Christmas passed very quietly with us. Greetings 
on all sides but no gifts and not many good things prepared 
beforehand. Had the customary eggnog before breakfast, but 
not a prize nog. It was made of borrowed whiskey with a 
strong flavor of turpentine. A lovely day, so warm that we 
sat on the gallery until bedtime. 

Julia Reed came on the twenty-seventh and stayed until 
today. This is the first Christmas in our recollection that was 
not a time of fun and feasting. 

We missed Ashburn's kiss and blithesome presence. Mam- 
ma invited the two Mr. Valentines, father and son, to dinner, 
thinking it would be pleasant for Other Pa to meet the older 
man, and rather to our surprise they came and stayed until 
sundown. We never heard of Mr. Valentine, Sr., paying a 
social visit before. He is odd, just as we fancied he would be, 
but an excellent talker. He and his son are strikingly alike in 
looks, manners, and turn of mind, though they generally take 
opposite sides on every proposition. Mark, Jr., says they 
are forced to do so to have something to talk about the long 
winter evenings. Mark, Jr., acquainted us with his fixed 
determination to pay us a New Year's call. So Julia and I 
hurried back from our ride that misty, misty morning and 
looked for him all day. In the afternoon we begged Mamma 
to let us pay our expected visit to Mrs. Savage, but she would 
not allow it. So he ruined our plans for all day. It will be 
long before we let an engagement with him keep us in again. 

The morning after Christmas Mamma gave all the house 
servants holiday we would have cold dinner and they all 
went down to the quarters. She hired some of the field women, 


who were busy in the backyard drying out lard, making up 
sausages, cleaning feet and so on. The boys had gone hunt- 
ing and Other Pa, Mamma, and I had seated ourselves for a 
day of quiet reading when Mr. McRae came in and asked, 
did we know that we were to have a large company to dinner? 
It was even so and in ten minutes everything was changed. 
Everybody was in a stir, the servants sent for, dressing, 
making fires, preparing for dinner, and just as everything 
was ready and we were sitting comfortably in the parlor, the 
company arrived Mr. Catlin, Robert, Anna Dobbs, Emily 
Norris, and Miss Bettie Carter. There were to have been 
several more but something intervened. The engagement had 
been made a week before but they forgot to notify us. The 
day passed pleasantly enough, but just after the ladies left it 
rained and stormed with a cold wind and they were in all of 
it. But since it was a closed carriage, I reckon they kept dry. 

Robert stayed all night and Joe came out to an early 
breakfast, and they all went hunting, returning with a deer, 
killed by Brother Coley, just in time for a 4 o'clock dinner 
and to meet Julia. At eleven Robert and Joe went home. 
Brother Coley went with them for a grand hunt on the river. 
They killed three deer, Robert one, his first, and Brother 
Coley another. Our boys had an engagement to spend Friday 
evening at Mrs. Savage's, an invitation with several other 
gentlemen, but they entirely forgot it, Robert remembering 
only when he got home and Mrs. Savage commenced scolding 
him. But he made his peace with the fine saddle of venison 
he carried home. Boys are funny fellows, but they were so 
busy here that night teasing Julia, making candy and eggnog, 
and enjoying themselves generally that they forgot every- 
thing else. 

Mr. Catlin makes some startling speeches. He is coarse. 
His remarks on the Morgan and Bell question were startling 
to say the least. He has been devoting himself to Miss Bettie 
Carter. Quite a flirtation going on. But Robert tells us it 
ig stopped since Dr. Lily was so meddlesome as to tell Mr. 
Catlin that Miss Bettie was looking for him to address her 
and would say yes. He crayfished right away. Why did Dr. 


Lily want to spoil sport? He is not kin to them. How self- 
centered of Mr. Catlin to imagine a lady in love with him. 

Saturday Julia, Jimmy, Johnny, Brother Walter, and I 
went to ride. Met Mr. Kaiser on his way to call on us and 
he joined the party. We rode as far as Dr. Meux's and got 
home just as the twilight was deepening into night. Brother 
Walter worried Julia all the way, got hold of her reins and 
held the horse for a mile. Of course Julia felt like pinching 
him well, if she could have reached him. We had a splendid 
eggnog after supper that Mr. Kaiser praised as only for- 
eigners can. 

Sunday all but Johnny went to church. He said his coat 
was not quite good enough. Quite a cavalcade, seven horse- 
men and the carriage full, more than a third of the congre- 
gation. Mr. Clinton preached a good sermon, but I did not 
hear it as I became so ill while riding down that I got out at 
Mrs. W. Scott's and lay down until they returned from 
church. It was my first visit to Mrs. Scott's not very cere- 
monious. By night I was all right. 

The piano came during the week and Julia, Other Pa, and 
I put it in the best order, and on New Year's evening the 
house echoed for the first time to the sound of the piano. 

Mr. Wilkinson has gone to his new duties. Mamma sent 
him out with a boy to bring the horse back. When he told 
Mamma good-bye, he said, " Farewell, Mrs. Stone, I thank 
you for your horse and your * horsepitality.' " And that is 
now a byword in the family. 

Jan. 8: This is my twenty-first birthday, and I think this 
will be my motto for the year so uncertain are all our sur- 
roundings " Live for today. Tomorrow's night, tomorrow's 
cares shall bring to light." May I always be able to put my 
trust in God as I can tonight, satisfied that He will order 
our future as is best. This has been a year of changes, of 
stirring and eventful life, the shortest ever in our calendar. 
God has been with our Nation during this year of trouble. 
He has given us wise rulers, brave and successful generals, 
valiant and patriotic men, and a united people, self -sacrificing 
and with their trust in God. 


Johnny and Jimmy started to school to Mr. Hazelitt, who 
is teaching at Mr. Curry's schoolhouse. Brother Walter has 
gone out to Bayou Macon x to buy and drive home a drove 
of beeves. Brother Coley will start to school as soon as he is 
well enough. 

We are sewing and knitting. Mamma and I put on mourn- 
ing. We gave most of our colored things to Mrs. Holbury, 
who was glad to get them, and so we have a lot of sewing to 
do. I have been dressing Sister's dolls to have them in nice 
order when she gets back. We miss her greatly. Other Pa 
went to Vicksburg Sunday. He is much troubled settling up 
Ashburn's estate and is so sad and despondent. Cousin 
Titia and Cousin Jenny have been telegraphed for, and when 
they come to Vicksburg Mamma will go down to meet them. 
A family meeting. 

Robert and Ben Clarkson spent the day Thursday. Julia, 
Brother Coley, and I were just starting to Mrs. Carson's 
when she drove up to pay a call, her second this week. On 
leaving she insisted on our going with her. We dismissed our 
carriage and drove out with her to spend the day and the 
night with Anna Dobbs. Mrs. Savage is out on Bayou 
Macon. Mr. Kaiser and I made an eggnog for them while 
they all played stupid games. We had a most pleasant con- 
versation seated by the inglenook. 

The next morning Mrs. Carson called by, and she and Julia 
went down to call on Mrs. Newman and Miss Bettie Carter. 
I stayed with Anna and Rose Norris, our first acquaintance 
with her. On Mrs. Carson's return I went with her to take 
dinner. Met there Mrs. Bernard and Mrs. Scott from Lake 
Providence. The air was sweet with the perfume of white 
hyacinths and sweet olive. Rode home in the late evening 
attended by Joe and Jimmy Carson. They came out for a 
hunt and remained until Sunday. Had a charming canter 
home notwithstanding rough roads and a misty rain. Two 

1 Bayou Macon (pronounced Mason) heads above the Arkansas- 
Louisiana line a few miles inland from the Mississippi, runs roughly 
parallel to that river, and empties into the Tensas River west of St. 
Joseph, La. 


letters from My Brother and one from dear Kate thanking 
me for the pretty black and gold Zouave jacket. 

Jan. 16: Real winter weather at last with sleet and snow 
whitening the ground a real winter landscape. We made 
some ice cream last night, ate it this morning, and pro- 
nounced it splendid. Today they are killing the last of the 
hogs, and all of the house servants with a contingent from 
the quarters are making lard, sausage, souse, etc., etc. 

Mamma and I went to Vicksburg in the carriage Friday 
and Sister and I returned Sunday, leaving Mamma there. I 
went rather against Mamma's wishes and I never remember 
so disagreeable a visit. Mr. Miller was at home and was 
intensely trying. Everything else was at sixes and sevens. 
Everything went wrong, and I am glad to be at home again. 
Sister is also charmed to get back. Mr. Miller is at home on 
furlough and I never saw him more hateful. Aunt Sarah 
looks worried to death. Dr. Buckner and Aunt Laura are 
both out of sorts and Other Pa is very much depressed. And 
there is such noise and confusion among the children. The 
situation was insupportable. 

Cousin Jenny and Titia are to be down this week. Letters 
from both soldiers. They are in winter quarters and My 
Brother is on detached duty superintending the laying off 
and erection of fortifications around Leesburg. He has been 
ordered to report to Maj. Boyle at Manassas, but Col. 
Humphreys does not wish to give him up. He prefers re- 
maining at Leesburg. He said they had a grand eggnog 
Christmas, their only festivities. Capt. Tom Manlove arrived 
in Vicksburg the morning we left. He brought our letters. 
He came to get recruits. So sorry not to see him. We waited 
three hours on the ferry at DeSoto, the river too rough to 

Mrs. Savage, Anna, and Rose spent yesterday with us. It 
was a miserably cold day but we spent it agreeably. I was 
still busy in the evening finishing off Sister's doll clothes. As 
soon as the weather moderates, Sister will start to school with 
the boys. Beverly gave her a pretty little pair of earrings. 


Jan. 17: The snow is melting and running off the house 
in a continual rain and underfoot is too slushy for anything. 
It is too cold and wet for Sister to go to school, but the boys 
went and came in this evening covered with mud but in high 
good humor. Each one has an essay to write, their first at- 
tempt, and it seems to hang over them as a regular kill-joy. 
Brother Coley is studying at home for several hours a day. 
I have been sewing and reading The Pilgrims of the Rhine, 2 
a perfect prose poem. Warren sent up four partridges to- 
night. They were such sensible, happy looking little birds 
that I could not bear to have them killed and so turned them 
loose in the garden. He traps quite a number. 

Jan. 20: We looked for Mamma today. I had Frank busy 
all day putting the house in real company trim, but Brother 
Coley returned from Omega without her. I suppose the 
estate business is not yet settled. The boys were out Satur- 
day until nearly dark on their customary hunt. How Curry 
came home and spent the night with them. And what an 
appetite that little boy has. His affinity for souse is great. 
I know he had wild dreams. 

Sunday, though it was cloudy, windy, and so muddy, all 
of us went to church, leaving only Brother Walter at home. 
Mr. Holbury gave us an excellent sermon. We saw nearly 
everyone we know in that section and also met the new 
Presbyterian minister, Mr. McNeely, and Anna's bright, par- 
ticular star, Dr. Meagher from Franklin Parish. It looks like 
there might be serious intentions in that quarter, for Mrs. 
Savage permits no flirting on her premises and is a famous 
matchmaker. The Doctor is quite nice looking. Anna was to 
go out to Thekla's today accompanied by " Brer Lil " and 
Dr. Meagher. 

Dr. Lily left last week, I suppose for the army, and did 
not come out to say farewell. And such a friend as he claimed 
to be to the Brokenburn household! I was sorry he left in a 
bad humor with us. 

Mr. and Mrs. Goodrich were at church, his first attendance 

3 A nnvpl hv Toward George Bulwer-Lvtton ( 1803-73) . 


for years. The death of their little girl Sarah not long since 
was a dreadful blow to them. She was a bright, attractive 
child about thirteen who died of diphtheria. They have one 
little boy. 

Mr. Wilkinson was on hand and was as ungainly and awk- 
wardly polite as usual. Brother Coley is reading and study- 
ing. I sent to Mrs. Hardison for something to read and she 
could find only Mabel Vaughn B and The Belle of Washing- 
ton, 4 The first I had read and the other was not worth read- 
ing, and so I am stranded on reading. No papers, or letters, 
or war news since we heard of the small battle between Col. 
Mclntosh and Opothle Yohola, the Indian chief. 5 

Jan. 22: Have been all alone today as Brother Coley 
made a hasty and unlooked-for trip to Vicksburg. 

Gen. [Leonidas] Polk has called on the planters from Mem- 
phis to the lower part of Carroll Parish for hands to complete 
the fortifications at Fort Pillow, forty miles above Memphis. 
A great many Negroes have been sent from Arkansas, Ten- 
nessee, and North Mississippi, and now it comes Louisiana's 
time to shoulder her part of the common burden. A man was 
here today with Gen. Folk's appeal. He had been riding 
constantly since Monday from one plantation to another, 
and nearly everyone had promised to send, some half of their 
force of men, some more, some less. As they get off tomorrow 
evening, Brother Coley had to go down to see Mamma 
about it. 

Took a cosy dinner all to myself shut up in Mamma's 
room, which I am occupying while she is away and which 
Frank keeps at summer heat. I find the piano a great re- 
source as I am recalling some of my music. 

It is rumored that Gen. Humphrey Marshall with a force 

3 A novel by M. S. Cummins. 

4 The Belle of Washington; A True Story of the Affections (1860) , by 
Mrs. N. P. Lasselle. 

5 This reference is to an encounter in Indian Territory between a 
faction of pro-Confederate Creeks, led by Colonel D. N. Mclntosh, and 
a pro-Union faction, headed by Opothle Yohola. Grant Foreman, A 
History of Oklahoma (Norman, 1942) , 102-109. 


of 2,500 men was surprised by a large Yankee force and cut 
to pieces. 6 

We miss Mamma dreadfully. The boys start to school 
immediately after breakfast and get home just at sunset, and 
directly after supper they commence on next day's lessons. 
Brother Walter has just worried through his first essay. It is 
short and of course must be filled with mistakes, but he will 
not let us look at it. It is the first step that costs. Hereafter, 
hope he will not find it such a job. The other two boys are 
hammering away at their speeches. Sister has not attained 
to the dignity of either writing or speaking yet awhile. 

Jan. 24: Mamma and Other Pa got home late Thursday 
evening. We were not looking for them and no supper had 
been kept hot, as it was some time before then that hot 
supper was served. Other Pa only came on business and went 
back to Vicksburg carrying with him Ashburn's Negroes, who 
are to be divided out among the heirs. Separating the old 
family Negroes who have lived and worked together for so 
many years is a great grief to them and a distress to us. I 
wish Mamma had been able to buy them all in and keep 
them here. 

Jan. 27: We went to hear Mr. McNeely preach Sunday 
rather dry and humdrum. Dr. Carson took him all around 
the country to introduce him to his new field of work. Quite 
pleasant socially, and could not be called ceremonious. 

But I forget. I must give the real neighborhood news. 
Rose and Dr. Lily are to be married very soon my pet 
prejudice, Rose Norris and the " Tiger Lily." She will be 
Mrs. " Rose Lily." She slipped quietly off with Mrs. Savage 
to New Orleans and is selecting her trousseau, and he has 
gone to visit his people in Baton Rouge and will join her in 
the City. I never would have picked Rose Norris out of all 
the world to spend my life with. For that matter, neither 
would I have selected Dr. Lily for that post. But oh! how 
tastes differ. I cannot believe he is in love with her. It has 
been too recently that he was criticizing her severely her 

6 Middle Creek and Prestonburg, Ky., January 10, 1862. 


looks, her walk, her manner. If it proves a happy marriage, 
I shall be surprised. She is quite young, about seventeen I 
think. There is already a gathering of the clan of Norris at 
Mrs. Savage's, and a busy people will they be getting the 
sewing done within a month. 

Jan. 30: It certainly is a most difficult matter to get a 
teacher. Mamma was expecting a Mr. Stockton and now 
tonight comes a letter showing that he will not do at all. His 
terms are entirely too high. He writes like a perfect Yankee. 
As he has failed us, I have been busy all the evening writing 
letters for Mamma to other applicants and an advertisement 
for the Whig. I expect the most from our application to Mr. 
Massie. We will see soon, I hope, the successful aspirant. 

We were also writing letters for Tom Manlove to carry to 
Uncle Bo and My Brother. Also, a short note to Julia. I 
want to hear her remarks on the approaching marriage. 

A late mail this evening. A letter from My Brother com- 
plains that it is dreadfully dull. They are just wearing the 
time away winterbound in their tents. The papers confirm 
our defeat at Fishing Creek and the death of Gen. Zollicoffer. 7 
Two lamentable events. Mr. McNeely knew Gen. Zollicoffer 
intimately and grieves for his death. He admired him greatly 
and considers his death a great loss to the Southern Cause. 
The whole Northern Army is now on the move preparing to 
attack us at all points. We expect to hear of great battles 
within the next few days. God grant us victory in our just 
war. The manner in which the North is moving her forces, 
now that she thinks us surrounded and can give us the 
annihilating blow, reminds me of a party of hunters crouched 
around the covert of the deer, and when the lines are drawn 
and there is no escape, they close in and kill. 

7 Fishing Creek (Mills Springs and Logans Cross Roads) , Ky., Janu- 
ary 19-20, 1862. Felix Kirk Zollicoffer died from wounds received in 
this battle. By mistake he rode into Federal lines and met troops 
commanded by Colonel Speed S. Fry, who recognized him. One of 
Zollicoffer's staff fired, and the Federals answered with a volley which 
killed Zollicoffer and two of his staff officers. Another account states 
that he was shot by Colonel Fry in a hand-to-hand encounter. Bio- 
graphical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1949 (Washington, 
1950) ; Dictionary of American Biography, XX, 660. 


From Ashburn's estate Mamma drew two Negroes, Ma- 
thilda and Abe. Patsy and John went to Cousins Jenny and 
Titia. They all came up on the boat this afternoon. Mat 
with Festus, the horse, goes to Uncle Johnny, Hill to Uncle 
Bo, Peggy and Jane to Aunt Laura, and Sydney and her two 
youngest children to Aunt Sarah. It is hard for Sydney and 
her older children to be separated. We are so sorry but 
cannot help it. 

We spent a day this week with Mrs. Graves. Mrs. Hardi- 
son went with us. It was our first long visit there and was 
so tiresome. Theresa was away. Sister came from school 
with a raging toothache and cried all night and in the morn- 
ing Mr. Hardison came down and begged her to let him pull 
it. She would not be persuaded and the fight must have 
cured her, as she has not complained since. 

Cousin Jenny writes that she and Cousin Titia will be up 
in about a month. It has been so long since I have seen them. 
Mamma says they are looking so well and pretty. 

It looks like we may have difficulty in getting summer 
clothes. The merchants are selling only for cash and that 
cash is hard to get, unless we can do as they seem to be doing 
in the towns make it. Judging from the looks of the paper 
money and the many signatures on odd-looking paper and 
pasteboard, one would be convinced that many people are 
making their own money. 8 We have spent less this year than 
ever before. Have bought only absolute necessaries no frills 
and furbelows for us. Affairs are too grave to think of dress. 

Feb. 1: "It is raining and it is hailing, and it is cold 
stormy weather." The worst winter weather. Commenced 
reading Redgauntlet 9 last evening and followed his fortunes 
through the gloomy morning. I saw him safely through his 
troubles and happily settled by 4 o'clock this afternoon. 
Practiced on the piano ever since until bedtime. I have com- 
menced a set of linen aprons for Beverly. Will embroider 

8 Beginning in March, 1861, the Confederate Government issued great 
quantities of paper notes which soon depreciated in value. By 1864 
a gold dollar was worth thirty paper ones 

9 A novel by Sir Walter Scott, published 1824. 


them all, some in white and two or three in blue and red. I 
intend to make them pretty and dainty to suit the dear little 
wearer. Mamma's trunk came today and so we will have 
plenty of sewing for some time. 

Have nothing new to read. Thus I have taken up my old 
favorite, Scott, the Prince of Novelists. Who of the modem 
writers can compare with him? 

Another death among the Negroes today Jane Eyre, 
Malona's baby. The little creature was lying in its mother's 
lap laughing and playing when it suddenly threw itself back, 
straightened out, and was dead. It is impossible to know 
what was the matter as it seemed perfectly well a minute 
before it died. This is the third child the mother has lost 
since Mamma bought her, and she seems devotedly attached 
to her babies. This is her last child. 

The boys have been out in the rain most of the day rabbit 
hunting. Brother Coley is much disturbed over an eruption 
that has been worrying him for two weeks now. Brother 
Walter seems to be taking it. They will go out to see the 
doctor the first sunny day. 

We all accuse Johnny of growing misanthropic since mix- 
ing with his fellowmen. Going to school with so many seems 
to induce most sour and cynical ideas. Little Sister wearies 
of the tedium of home after three weeks of school and wants 
to go with the boys, but Mamma thinks it too cold and wet 
for her to venture out. So she must needs bide at home and 
play dolls. 

No war news or any other kind. Oh, this inactive life when 
there is such stir and excitement in the busy world outside. 
It is enough to run one wild. Oh! to be in the heat and tur- 
moil of it all, to live, to live, not stagnate here. 

How can a man rest quietly at home when battles are 
being fought and fields lost and won every day? I would eat 
my heart away were I a man at home these troublous times. 

Feb. 4- Sister has been suffering for several days with 
neuralgia and it is but little sleep either she or Mamma has 
had. No news from the wedding. Only the family were to be 
present. Brother Coley has started to school with the others 


and is trying Dr. Devine's prescription. Brother Walter is 
home with a chill. Going out in the cold and wet was too 
much for him. Mamma had several of the women from the 
quarter sewing. Nothing to be done in the fields too muddy. 
They put in and finished quilting a comfort made of two of 
my cashmere dresses. Mamma had Aunt Laura's silk one 
put in today and Sue is quilting on it. I am so afraid Mamma 
will commence work on it herself, and if she does I shall feel 
in duty bound to put up my linen embroidery and help her. 
And I simply detest making and quilting quilts. Precious 
little of it have I ever done. This will be a lovely silk affair. 
Aunt Laura always has so many pretty silks and wears them 
such a little while that they are never soiled. After quilting, 
one rises from the chair with such a backache, headache, 
and bleeding pricked fingers. 

No church. Such a wild Sunday. So I commenced reading 
Taylor's Holy Living and Dying?* Like it better than any 
religious book I have read. Mr. Curry is at home again. 
Reports Mrs. Curry much better. A note from Julia exclaim- 
ing over the union of the Lily and the Rose. 

Feb. 5: Mamma is busy on the silk quilt destined for 
Sister. Both Walter and Sister are better. The others are at 
school. Worked myself half blind on Beverly's aprons to- 
night. Have been intending to take up French again, but 
studying is too humdrum work for these times. The boys say 
there is a runaway about the country. That makes one feel 
creepy when alone at night. So out with the light and to 
sleep to dream. 

Feb. 6: A long letter from Uncle Bo, who writes as he 
talks, gay and rollicking. He is still on picket duty and in 
high spirits. 

Our papers have dropped off one by one. The only one to 
come now is the Picayune. We will subscribe for others. 
News of the partial loss of the Burnside expedition off Cape 
Hatteras in a heavy storm. 11 

10 By Jeremy Taylor (1613-67) , published in 1650-51. 

11 General Ambrose E. Burnside left Fort Monroe, Va., January 11, 


Feb. 16: Last week the weather was fine and the roads im- 
proved, and so we went out in the carriage to Mrs. Savage's, 
stopping by for Mrs. Carson, who had been ill for two weeks 
and could not go. We found all at Mrs. Savage's in the hurry 
and bustle of wedding arrangements all working on white 
linen. Mrs. Savage is charmed at the match and is just in 
her element preparing for a wedding. She has bought two 
new carpets and a pretty ashes of rose silk for Anna. She 
had it made in New Orleans and also two pretty summer 
dresses. Rose looks perfectly happy and content with the 
prettiest possible engagement ring flashing and sparkling on 
her finger a big solitaire, the image of Aunt Sarah's. 

I had no idea Rose's face could wear such a joyous look, 
but even joy and youth cannot make her pretty. Anna 
Dobbs, Mr. and Mrs. Norris, and Rose's mother came in the 
evening from Bayou Macon by way of Richmond, the swamp 
being impassable. What a weary, bedraggled, tacky-looking 
set they were. 

Rose's want of beauty is explained as soon as you see her 
mother, a regular witch of an old lady with the most apolo- 
getic, deprecating air. She has put up with many a snob, you 
can see, and has Bayou Macon written all over her. Now is 
not it mean of me to write in that way of that harmless old 
lady and I know absolutely nothing of her? She may be in 
her daily life an uncannonized saint. 

The wedding is to be a real grand, old-fashioned merry- 
making. All the relatives on both sides for four generations 
are to assemble at Mrs. Savage's before the affair, and all 
friends for miles around are to be invited and a great feast 
prepared. And oh, the quantities of sewing to be done. Mrs. 
Savage says when there is a wedding she believes in straining 
a point. I want to see Miss Patience Lily who is to be one of 
the bridesmaids. 

Mamma has at last secured a teacher, a German with a 
name I cannot yet spell. He comes with the highest testi- 

1862, with a large expeditionary force bound for the North Carolina 
coast. Off Cape Hatteras a gale destroyed several of his ships. Eventu- 
ally the force landed on February 4 and captured New Berne, N. C., on 
March 14. Battles and Leaders, I, 660-69. 


monials, is a graduate of a German university, and is very 
learned. He is the funniest man. He speaks the greatest 
jargon and with such odd expressions that we must laugh 
sometimes. I shall be surprised if he suits Mamma for any 
length of time too peculiar and quick tempered. 

The war news is very bad, only defeats Roanoke Island, 
fall of Fort Henry, and the ascent of the Tennessee River 
and shelling of Florence, Ala. We still hold Fort Donelson, 
though it has been under fire for two days. 12 

A heavy snowstorm the deepest snow we ever had. The 
children enjoy snowballing and we all enjoy the ice cream. 
There is not much milk left for butter after the boys get out 
of the dairy. 

Feb. 20: Monday school started in My Brother's room 
and I go on with French under Mr. Stenckrath. He is to 
hear me after supper, I have been staying in Mamma's room 
lately. Now, she, Sister, and Frank are all sound asleep and 
I have just finished my French exercises. Mr. Stenkrath is 
a splendid teacher and likes his profession. He seems just 
the man for the boys. He seems to have a restless nature. 
From his confused account of himself, he has had a roving 
life, seldom staying more than a few months at a place, and 
so we need not expect to keep him long. 

No mails for two weeks, the boat laid up for repairs. 

The news for the last few days gathered from extras and 
dailies is bitterly disappointing: Forts Henry and Donelson 
given up, Bowling Green 13 evacuated and shelled and burned 
by the enemy, and the Northern hordes marching on Nash- 
ville. Four days ago the people were leaving and the town 
was being shelled by the gunboats. We do not care for those 
Kentucky towns; they deserve their fate. But Nashville, so 
true to the South, is a different matter. I know Dr. Elliott's 
school will suffer. He is such an ardent Southerner. I gradu- 
ated there. An excellent school it is. 14 

12 Roanoke Island, N. C. 5 February 8; Fort Henry, Tenn., February 
6; Fort Donelson (Dover) , Tenn , February 14-16, 1862. 

13 Bowling Green, Ky., February 15, 1862. 

14 Nashville Female Academy. 


It is a gloomy outlook just now but " behind the clouds 
the sun still shines " and victory will be ours at last. 

Nothing from Cousin Titia and Jenny and we looked for 
them today. There is no communication with Vicksburg; 
it might be under blockade for what we hear. 

Mamma has finished the silk quilt, octagons of blue and 
yellow satin from two of her old dresses. Sister claims it. 
Aunt Laura's, of purple and blue silk, is done and is exceed- 
ingly pretty. She has had several comforts made during the 
bad weather, and it has been so bad. I have about finished 
Beverly's second apron, blue and white scallops with a bunch 
of heartsease embroidered in front and cute little pockets, 
also embroidered. 

Feb. 21: Mr. Stockton came this morning expecting to 
get the situation as teacher. He wrote three weeks ago ac- 
cepting Mamma's offer but the letter has not yet arrived. Of 
course he is disappointed, but Mamma has told him to stay 
with us awhile. It is probable he can get a situation around 
here. He is a rather small, delicate-looking man with short, 
close yellow curls, blue eyes, ugly mouth and nose, and the 
cleanest-looking red and white face. He is an accomplished 
man with pleasant cultivated manner. Mr. Stenckrath tri- 
umphs over him as being first to get the situation and they 
have taken a grand disgust for each other. 

A note of despair from Julia. Mrs. Reading with whom 
they board is moving to Vicksburg to live and Julia and her 
mother do not know where to go. Mamma sent them a note 
by Webster, who was going to take Mr. Stockton's horse 
back to Omega, asking them to come and make us a long visit. 

Nashville has not yet fallen. Our army, 80,000 strong, is 
encamped around the city and the enemy is marching up, 
250,000 of them, to battle. 15 The general impression is that 
both Nashville and Memphis are doomed, and the Yankee 
gunboats will then descend the Mississippi and get all the 
cotton they can steal. 

15 These figures, probably based on newspaper reports, are greatly 
exaggerated. The Confederate force at Nashville numbered about 17,000, 
the approaching Federal Army probably 40,000. 


Brother Coley went to the last drill today at Willow 
Bayou. The company is broken up. There have been calls 
from the governors of all the river states for all the able- 
bodied men to come forward. 16 Every man is speaking of 
joining the army, and we fear within a week Brother Coley 
will away. 

In the present sad conditions of affairs traitors are spring- 
ing up in every direction, as plentiful and busy as frogs in 
a marsh. I would not trust any man now who stays at home 
instead of going out to fight for his country. 

I am tired. I have been so busy. Have read several hours 
French and English sewed, practiced, written a letter, 
entertained Mr. Stockton for a time, played nine games of 
cards, eaten three meals and a luncheon, learned and recited 
four French lessons, and written all this. Surely it is bedtime. 

Feb. 22: We had a surprising piece of family news this 
morning. Either Cousin Jenny or Cousin Titia was married a 
week ago today. We do not know which. Mr. Stockton men- 
tioned it incidentally in the course of conversation, and after 
our surprised queries, he told us all he knew. He said that 
one of the young ladies was married at Dr. Buckner's by Mr. 
Lord to a Tennessee soldier, name unknown, and started off 
next morning up the river. He did not know where. We are 
wild for particulars. Cannot tell why they have not let us 
know all about it. 

Mr. Kaiser is off to the war and without bidding us good- 
bye. Mamma is trying to get a situation for Mr. Stockton 
and in the meanwhile is doctoring him up with all kinds of 
strong, hot medicines to make him well enough to accept a 
place should he get it. He has a horrid cold and the poor 
fellow is perfectly obedient to Mamma. He takes all her 
doses without a murmur. Mr. Neily wishes a teacher and 
Brother Coley went to see him this morning. He offers only 

16 On February 22, 1862, General G. T. Beauregard, acting for General 
Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Department of Kentucky 
and Tennessee, addressed circulars to the governors of Alabama, Lousi- 
ana, Mississippi, and Tennessee urging them each to send 5,000 to 10,000 
men to Columbus, Ky., for defense of the Mississippi River above 
Memphis. Battles and Leaders, I, 574. 


$500. It is for his grandchildren. Mamma wrote also to Mrs. 
Savage and Mr. Harris, but neither wish a teacher just now. 
Anna writes Mrs. Savage has given out the idea of a large 
wedding. Only the families are to be present. Mamma sent 
Rose a lovely pincushion. Mrs. McRae is still very ill. Mam- 
ma spent part of the night there. I played three-handed 
euchre with Mr. Stockton and Mr. Stenckrath until, as the 
boys say, I am " dead beat." 

Feb. 24' News of a victory for us in Missouri in which 
Gen. Sigel, a German Yankee, was killed. 17 All other tidings 
are gloomy but they have aroused the country with a trumpet 
call. There is the greatest excitement throughout the coun- 
try. Almost everyone is going and going at once. Men are 
flocking to Johnston's standard by the thousands. They are 
not waiting to form companies, but are going to join those 
already in the field. Every man gets ready as soon as he can 
possibly do so, makes his way to the river, hails the first 
upward bound boat, and is off to join in the fight at Nash- 
ville. The whole country is awake and on the watch think 
and talk only of war. 

Robert came out this evening to consult with Brother 
Coley. He wants to go in the same company. But Brother 
Coley went to Vicksburg this morning to consult Dr. Buck- 
ner as to the best company for him to join. Robert is very 
low-spirited but determined on going. He says he knows he 
will never return. I like him very much and will be sorry to 
tell him good-bye. Mamma received a letter from Dr. Buck- 
ner today. He expects to leave with his company in two or 
three days and wrote for Brother Coley and Brother Walter. 
His is a cavalry company. 

It was Cousin Titia who was married. We do not know to 
whom. They left for camp at Columbus, Miss. 

Feb. 25: Our first mail for three weeks. Numbers of 
letters a grieved one from Kate and an old one from My 

17 This is possibly a reference to the Battle of Sugar Creek in southern 
Missouri, a small, indecisive engagement. General Franz Sigel was not 
killed as reported. 


Brother. Cousin Titia married Mr. Charles Frazer, a lawyer 
of Memphis. They have been engaged for some time but it 
was an unexpected marriage. He got a furlough, came to 
Vicksburg, and insisted on being married, and so they were 
and went on to camp together at Columbus, Miss. Cousin 
Titia wrote to Mamma and tried to telegraph. 18 

March 1 : February has been a month of defeats Roan- 
oke Island, Forts Henry and Donelson, and now proud old 
Nashville. All have fallen. A bitter month for us. A grand 
battle is looked for today or tomorrow at Columbus [Ky.]. 

Another soldier is leaving our fireside. Brother Coley has 
joined Dr. Buckner's cavalry company, and long before the 
month is over he will be on the field fighting to repel the 
invader. The first March winds find him safe in the haven of 
home. April will find him marching and counter-marching, 
weary and worn, and perhaps dead on the field of battle. He 
is full of life and hope, so interested in his company, and 
eager to be off. He says chains could not hold him at home. 
He has been riding ever since his return Wednesday trying 
to get the horses, subscriptions, and recruits for his company. 
Robert Norris goes with a sad foreboding heart to perform a 
dreaded duty. Brother Coley goes as a bridegroom to his 
wedding with high hopes and gay anticipations. Robert's is 
really the highest type of courage. He sees the danger but 
presses on. Brother Coley does not even think of it just a 
glorious fight for fame and honor. 

Wonder of wonders. Mr. Valentine is at last alive to the 
issue. He is much excited and interested and is getting up a 
subscription of corn for the families of men who are volun- 

18 Letitia Austin and Colonel Charles Wesley Frazer, prominent lawyer 
and officer in the 5th Confed. ftegt., became the parents of a daughter, 
Virginia, born on February 14, 1863, near Chattanooga, Tenn. Educated 
in private schools in Memphis, Virginia married Thomas R. Boyle, a 
Memphis attorney, and attained recognition as a writer of prose and 
poetry. Among books published by Virginia Frazer Boyle was Broken- 
burne, A Southern Auntie's War Tale (1897) , taking the name from the 
Stone plantation. She also published stories in Harper's, Century, and 
other magazines. She wrote the " Tennessee Centennial Ode " (1896) 
and the " Jefferson Davis Centennial Ode " (1908) .Library of South- 
ern Literature, II, 463-89. 


leering back on the Macon. He is trying to raise a company 
and is getting an office in it. He will go as soon as possible. 
He and Mr. Catlin were here yesterday. Mamma subscribed 
100 barrels of corn. When the two Mr. Valentines become 
enthusiastic warriors, times are growing warm. I did not see 
them it was a business visit and I had a rising on my face. 
Nothing but war talked of and companies are forming all 
through the country. 

Mr. Davies, L'adorable, who is on a visit to Dr. Carson, 
and Mr. NcNeely spent the morning with us two young 
ministers. Mr. Davies looks just as he did a year ago, except 
for his ravishing black mustache, and is as delightful as ever. 
He is wild to join the army but has his mother and four 
grown sisters absolutely dependent on him, and it seems im- 
possible for him to get off. He says it is much harder to stay 
at home than to go. 

Joe Carson is crazy to join the army. He cannot study, 
cannot think of anything else, but his parents will not con- 
sent. He is most wretched. The overseers and that class of 
men are abusing him roundly among themselves a rich 
man's son too good to fight the battles of the rich let the 
rich men go who are most interested they will stay at home. 
Such craven spirits. So few overseers have gone. 19 

Joe and Robert spent Wednesday evening. Brother Coley, 
just home, says Aunt Laura and Cousin Jenny are in the 
depths of despair. Cousin Jenny is grieving over the separa- 
tion from her sister. They have been together all their lives. 
And Aunt Laura is grieving over Dr. Buckner's going away, 
but she realizes it is his duty and will not beg him to stay. 
Cousin Jenny has given up her visit to us. As soon as her 
father, Uncle Austin, comes for her, she will join her sister 
in camp. An imploring message from Aunt Laura begging me 
to come down and stay with her. 

Thursday we made two blue shirts for Brother Coley. 
Nearly all we can do for him. Made a comfort bag for him, 
one for Mr. Valentine, and will now make one for Robert. 

19 This paragraph affords interesting evidence that even before the 
passage of the First Conscription Act the middle and poorer classes 
thought the planters were not bearing their share of the war burden. 


March 2: Mr. Stenckrath is making himself wretched 
these last few days. He feels that he should join the army 
and he has not the requisite courage. He says, " It is a 
dreadful thing, Mees Kate, to go and be shoot at." He is 
always harping on the dangers and trials of a soldier's life 
and his funny ways amuse us all. He says ill health will keep 
him here, and he is the picture of manly strength but is im- 
agining himself into becoming a confirmed invalid. He says, 
" Mees Kate is driving me to the war. She talk so much 
about men going and I so sensitive it move me silent for 
half an hour." He says, " I brave man but I no want to be 
shoot." To look at it dispassionately, there does seem to be 
no reason why a foreigner, only here to teach and most proba- 
bly opposed to all our institutions, should be expected to 
fight for our independence. And I really do not think it Mr. 
Stenckrath's duty to go, but he will take all we say about 
other men who are shirking their duty as personal to him. 
And when we are all on fire with the subject, we cannot 
bridle our tongues all the time. 

Well, Columbus [Ky.] is abandoned and with it Tennessee. 
Our Columbus army, without a shot or shell on either side, 
has retired to Island No. 10 20 and the Nashville army has 
fallen back to Decatur, Ala. They say the Island is much 
better adapted for defense than Columbus. Then how much 
time and money has been wasted at Columbus. How we 
would like to have a letter from Cousin Titia. I suppose she 
leads the retreat. 

Robert came home with Brother Coley tonight. They 
must go to Vicksburg tomorrow. Robert is in much better 
spirits and Brother Coley is jubliant. 

March 8: Brother Coley and Robert got off just at sun- 
rise. It was cold but they were well wrapped up. Robert 
returned the next day but Brother Coley is still there expect- 
ing to leave every day. Dr. Carson gave five bales of cotton 
to Dr. Buckner's company and a horse, which Robert rode 

20 In the Mississippi River between Columbus, Ky., and New Madrid, 
Mo. The island commanded passage of the river. 


down, but he will not allow Joe to join and the boy is nearly 
distracted with mortification and chagrin. 

Mamma finished her silk quilt, I helped three days and 
then begged off. Quilting is a fearsome job. Have finished 
making the three " friends." 

Mr. Valentine failed to get an office in the company and 
we fear he will not go and that will make him fearfully un- 
popular with all classes. If we could see him, I am sure we 
could influence him. For his own sake he must join. Mr. 
Catlin's last feint is that he will join a gunboat now in the 
docks. Robert has joined Sweet's Artillery of Vicksburg and 
will get off Thursday. 

Mamma and I went out by special invitation merely to 
call on the bride and Miss Lily and then to dine at Mrs. 
Carson's, but Mrs. Savage would not hear of our leaving. 
She made us spend the day and a long, dull day it was, 
and so cold. We were the only invited guests for the day, but 
there are still sixteen grown people and numbers of children 
staying in the house. The dinner table was set on the back 
gallery. The bride had on a lovely dress of light blue silk 
with a silvery sheen, trimmed with dark blue velvet, black 
lace, and steel buckles. She looked as usual, sour and dis- 
agreeable, and was very silent, as was the groom. His powers 
of interrogation have not failed him. Talking alone with him, 
his first query was did I think his wife was handsome? With 
my opinion of Mrs. Lily's looks it was " rather a staggerer/' 
as I have a due regard for truth. I evaded the question and 
he then wanted to know did I think her as good looking as 
he is? I could truthfully answer yes as Dr. Lily is not to say 
pretty. Still he was not satisfied but I cut the conversation 
short, tired of such a personal catechism. 

Miss Lily is distinctly commonplace, rather a " muggins " 
and wears the oddest hairdress. Miss Bettie's coiffure is 
mild compared to it. Rose attacked me for having said I 
thought Dr. Lily should go to the army. No doubt I have 
said so, for I certainly think it and am still of the same 
opinion, but I had not been rude enough to tell him so. With 
all of our relations going out to fight, I am not apt to think 
other men should sit comfortably at home. 


Dr. Meagher was on hand, the handsomest, nicest looking 
of the lot. I told Anna I approved of her taste and if I had 
the opportunity might set my cap for him, a rival of hers. 
She declared there is nothing between them but there surely 
will be if they see much more of each other. All Mrs. Savage's 
visitors leave today. The bride and groom go to Baton 
Rouge to visit his people. 

We called on Mrs. Carson and met Mrs. Rutherford. Her 
husband is the Presbyterian minister. He came up to per- 
form the ceremony and Mrs. Rutherford came with him. She 
is an agreeable Kentucky lady. She gave us pleasant news 
of My Brother. She says he has been highly complimented 
by his superior officers. 

Mr. Stenckrath does not improve on acquaintance. He is 
very high tempered and irritable and so sensitive on the 
subject of the war. He says he cannot bear to hear us talk 
of it, which is too absurd, as if we could help talking in our 
own home circle of the most important and stirring facts 
in the world to us. He wants us to ignore the existence of 
any war and prattle on of the commonplaces of life as though 
victory and defeat, suffering and death, had never been 
heard of. He came back from Goodrich's this evening wrought 
up to the highest pitch of rage and excitement. He had to 
drill with the militia and came back anathematizing on the 
militia, the officers, and everything connected with it. The 
greatest egotist, applies everything said to himself a hypo- 
chondriac. He complains all the time, often of an agonizing 
pain in his toe. But enough of this tiresome man! 

We hear of a victory for us at Boston Mountain, Ark. 21 
No particulars. No news for days. The boats are all detained 
at Columbus removing government stores. The papers are 
making most stirring appeals to the people to give and to 
enlist. The Whig is most eloquent. A busy week for all of 
us. With morn comes toil but night brings rest. 

March 9: Brother Coley came this evening. He will join 

21 Pea Ridge, Ark., March 5-8, 1862. Pea Ridge was in reality a 
Confederate reverse. 


his company Tuesday and they will leave for Jackson, Miss., 
Thursday and shortly after go to Jackson, Tenn. 

Cousin Jenny joins her sister at Jackson, Tenn. Cousin 
Titia was not at Columbus. Her husband left her at 

Brother Coley likes his company quite well. He says there 
are about twenty nice gentlemen belonging to it. We laugh 
at him about his aristocratic officers one a liverystable 
keeper, one an overseer, and the other " a bold butcher boy/' 

All of us but Mamma went out to the Lodge to hear Mr. 
Rutherford preach. He is a pleasant talker and there was a 
large congregation. Better than all there were three soldiers 
in their unijorms, the two Mr. Buckners, one a captain and 
the other some officer, and a perfect love of a lieutenant in 
blue uniform and brass buttons galore. Six feet of soldier 
with brass buttons is irresistible, and all the girls capitulated 
at once. Did not hear his name and my prophetic soul tells 
me he is married. Oh! me. He is one of the escaped heroes 
of Fort Donelson. He aroused my liveliest sympathy by being 
compelled to balance himself on a backless bench during 
the entire service. Is that the way to make our heroes love 

May 9: After two months of silence I will resume my 
homely chronicles. Reading over the nonsense of the last 
page, how sad it seems now, for the Lt. Davis mentioned 
with such jesting is dead far away from his mother " an 
only son and she a widow." He escaped at the siege of 
Donelson only to come home with Capt. Buckner to fall a 
prey to a long, lingering illness and die at last among 

Two days after my last date [March 9], Mamma, Brother 
Coley, Brother Walter, and I went down by land to Vicks- 
burg. Brother Coley joined his company as a private with 
Capt. C. B. Buckner as captain. In a few days they left for 
Jackson, Miss., where they still are, and Mamma and Brother 
Walter returned home. I remained with Aunt Laura until 
last week when Brother Walter came down in the carriage 


for me, and, after moving adventures by field and flood, we 
reached home safely. 

How many stirring events are crowded into the last sixty 
days: Our victory in Hampton Roads; 22 the two-day battle 
and victory at Shiloh; the fall of several of our small towns 
on the coast; the long bombardment, heroic defense, and 
final surrender of Island No. 10; 23 the attack on and success- 
ful defense of Fort Pillow; 24 and last and most important of 
all the long and terrible bombardment of Fort Jackson with 
the passing of the gunboats under heaviest fire and then the 
investure and fall of the greatest City of the South, New 
Orleans. 25 And not a blow struck in its defense. Such was 
not its fate in the days of Jackson. 

As a natural consequence of her surrender, the forts also 
gave up, and fair Louisiana with her fertile fields of cane and 
cotton, her many bayous and dark old forests, lies powerless 
at the feet of the enemy. Though the Yankees have gained 
the land, the people are determined they shall not have its 
wealth, and from every plantation rises the smoke of burning 
cotton. The order from Beauregard advising the destruction 
of the cotton met with a ready response from the people, 
most of them agreeing that it is the only thing to do. As far 
as we can see are the ascending wreaths of smoke, and we 
hear that all the cotton of the Mississippi Valley from Mem- 
phis to New Orleans is going up in smoke. We have found 
it is hard to bum bales of cotton. They will smoulder for 
days. So the huge bales are cut open before they are lighted 
and the old cottons burns slowly. It has to be stirred and 

22 At Hampton Roads, Va, the Confederate ironclad Merrimac at- 
tacked the Federal Blockading Squadron. 

2 3 Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) , Tenn., April 6-7; Island No. 10, Tenn , 
April 8, 1862. Again, in the case of Shiloh, Kate, influenced by in- 
accurate press accounts, calls a reverse a victory. 

24 On the Mississippi between Memphis and Island No. 10. 

25 April 18-29, 1862. With a population of 168,875, New Orleans was 
the largest city in the Confederacy and was the port of entry for 
Arkansas, Louisiana, and north Texas, from which the Confederacy 
received badly needed food. Union strategy from the first included 
cutting the Confederacy in two by seizing the Mississippi. That now 
seemed possible with the fall of the forts above Memphis. 


turned over but the light cotton from the lint room goes 
like a flash. We should know, for Mamma has $0,000 worth 
burning on the gin ridge now; it was set on fire yesterday and 
is still blazing. 

Though agreeing on the necessity of destroying the cotton, 
all regret it. And it has thrown a gloom over the country 
that nothing but news of a great victory could lighten. We 
are watching and praying for that. The planters look upon 
the burning of the cotton as almost ruin to their fortunes, 
but all realize its stern necessity and we have not heard of 
one trying to evade it. 

The Yankee gunboats are expected to appear before Vicks- 
burg today, and every effort is being made to " welcome them 
with bloody hands to hospitable graves." It seems hopeless 
to make a stand at Vicksburg. We only hope they may burn 
the city if they meet with any resistance. How much better 
to burn our cities than let them fall into the enemy's hands. 

To resume the earlier record: Two weeks after Dr. Buck- 
ner's company left Vicksburg, Aunt Laura, Beverly, and I 
went to Jackson to pay them a visit and spent a week at 
the Bowman House, a comfortable hotel for these times. I 
enjoyed the stay greatly. Saw so many soldiers and other 
nice people. And it was such a time of excitement, just after 
the battle of Shiloh, and we met so many men and officers 
who were in the fight: Maj. McCardle, whom we heard acted 
gallantly, Col. Ferguson, aide to Beauregard and lieutenant 
colonel of Stark's regiment (the one Dr. Buckner's company 
is in) , also mentioned with great praise. He is almost 
my beau ideal in looks and manner, a West Pointer. I came 
near losing my heart to him. Just hadn't time. He was 
ordered off so soon. 

The cars were crowded for days with wounded soldiers 
going home and relatives going on to see their wounded 
friends. Col. Ferguson was a lieutenant of Dragoons stationed 
on the extreme western border when he heard, after two 
months, of Lincoln's election and resigned at once. And after 
a journey of two months he reached South Carolina, his 
native state, just in time to act as one of Gen. Beauregard's 


aides during the bombardment of Fort Sumter. He was 
recently appointed lieutenant colonel of Stark's regiment. 
Beauregard telegraphed him just before the battle and he 
went up and acted as his aide during the two days. Dr. 
Buckner likes him and Brother Coley likes him as far as he 
knows him. But Col. Ferguson is a regular West Pointer in 
discipline and Brother Coley is but a private to him. He is 
fired with most eager ambition and thirst for distinction. He 
has an air of frankness and the most engaging freshness and 
naivete in conversation I ever saw in a man. He is tall, 
handsome, about twenty-six, susceptible, a South Carolinian, 
and a lieutenant colonel a most fascinating combination. 
But I will wait until I see him again before really losing my 
heart. I made a pretty tobacco bag for him and sent it 
without my name. He will be puzzled. 26 Also made one for 
Aunt Laura to give Maj. McCardle. Also made embroidered 
green covers for Brother Coley and his friend Ben Ricks's 
canteens. They said it would keep their water cooler. Ben 
Ricks of Yazoo is a nice young fellow, a good friend for 
Brother Coley. Saw him several times. 

Brother and Uncle Bo, both at Yorktown, sent on to rein- 
force Gen. Magruder. A great battle is expected there any 
day now. My Brother's company has been exchanged with 
Col. Taylor's battalion. He likes Col. Taylor very much and 
is glad of the change. 

The troops at Yorktown have undergone great hardships, 
particularly the Leesburg Brigade, The flower of both armies 
with the best generals are stationed within a few miles of 
each other and the great battle of the war is soon to be 
fought. And our hearts are heavy with anxiety for our two 
soldiers who will be in it. Grant a victory/ Father, we pray. 

26 Kate's description of Colonel Thomas Barker Ferguson is somewhat 
in ^error He attended South Carolina Military Academy, not West 
Point, and entered the Confederate service as an engineer, helping con- 
struct the batteries at Fort Sumter in April, 1861. Promoted to major 
before he was twenty-five, he was shot through the lungs while com- 
manding the artillery of Walker's division at Jackson, Miss , in 1862, 
but recovered. In 1867 he married Jane Byrd, daughter of Governor 
Thomas Swann of Maryland. Dictionary of American Biography, VI, 


The conscription has caused a great commotion and great 
consternation among the shirking stay-at-homes. Around 
here, many are deluding themselves with the belief that the 
call will not be enforced in Louisiana now that New Orleans 
has fallen and Vicksburg is threatened. We are to make a 
stand there. A weak one, I fear. 

We earnestly hope these coward souls will be made to go. 
They are not joining volunteer companies as most of the 
conscripts are. They will not even raise a guerrilla troop for 
home defense. Not a single man has joined for the last two 
months. I forgot George Hardison, who is under age, and 
several men from the Bend. 

M ay 10: The smoke of the burning cotton is still rising 
as far as we can see. For the last five days the air has been 
heavy with the smoke and odor of burned cloth. There is 
still a day's work here before the last bale is ashes. Mamma 
has reserved about eight bales for spinning and making cloth 
for the hands. 

I must tell an adventure returning ten days ago from 
Vicksburg. Brother Walter came for me, with Webster driv- 
ing, when I had about given up hope of seeing Brokenburn 
again for many months as the Yankees were hourly expected 
in Vicksburg. Numbers of people were leaving the city and 
Aunt Laura was preparing to go on the next train to Jackson 
to be with Dr. Buckner. I would have been forced to go 
with her. I could not remain in Vicksburg or with the Nailors 
in the country, perhaps for months, and so I was relieved 
when Brother Walter walked in. The next morning we crossed 
the ferry and were just driving up the road when we were 
stopped by the news that the Vicksburg levee had broken. 
Already the river road was impassable and in the course of 
two hours the water would be over DeSoto. We were horri- 
fied but told Webster to turn around and rush as fast as he 
could to the depot at Mr. Burney's. Fortunately, we reached 
there just in time to catch the train and the last one it 
proved to be for many a day. There was a great crowd of 
parish people and people going on to Monroe and Texas. 
Such excitement! First it was said that the train would be 


cut off by the water, and then that we would be fired on or 
captured by a Yankee gunboat. They were momentarily ex- 
pected and there were many false alarms of their being in 
sight. We shipped everything on a flat car mules, carriage, 
Webster and about two or three the train pulled out. We 
reached Tallulah station rather late. Met several friends on 
the train who begged us to get off and spend the night the 
Dancys, Colemans, etc. But I thought in these troublous 
times home was the best place. So we drove on as far as 
Mrs. Gustine's above the Bend, and as it was then quite 
dark we stayed with them all night, Brother Walter going on 
home to relieve Mamma's anxiety. They were very cordial. 
Had a pleasant visit. 

It was the last trip the cars can make until the river falls. 
We came through water so deep that it nearly came in the 
coaches. They were crowded. In the car with us was a guer- 
rilla captain going to Texas to raise a company. He had 
just escaped from New Orleans with several men of his com- 
mand. He said they burned several thousand bales of cotton 
and other supplies. He was so excited and eager and talked 
so well of everything he had seen or heard in New Orleans. 
He is from New Orleans and his heart and soul are with the 

Mamma was charmed to get us home again when we ar- 
rived next day. The day before Mr. Catlin had ridden by to 
tell her that we were cut off by the break in the levee and 
that the Yankees were in Vicksburg. She was wretched not 
knowing what we would do. 

While in Vicksburg I went out and spent a few days with 
Pattie Booth. What a delightful home they have and the 
loveliest flower garden, nearly equals Mrs. Savage's. While 
there we attended a meeting to get up a fair and I met a 
number of my old schoolmates of Nashville days. We had 
just heard of the dastardly outrage offered Dr. Elliott, the 
principal of our school then, and we held a little meeting and 
passed resolutions of sympathy. But he can never get them. 
Met at Mrs. Booth's Mr. PhUo Valentine, a brother of our 
Oasis friend, the elder, also a brother of Mrs. Booth. He is 
most agreeable and an assistant surgeon in the C. S. A. 


Kate Nailor spent several days with us at Aunt Laura's. 
She is looking dreadful but is as lovely as ever. She is soon 
to be married to Wilkins Roach and much I fear her heart 
is not in it. He is very wealthy and her family are urging it 
on, but her heart is in Virginia with My Brother. But they 
have had a quarrel and now it can never be set right, because 
in a fit of jealousy and pique she is throwing herself away 
on a man she barely likes. Poor Kate! And poor absent 
lover! They have been sweethearts for years. 

May 11: The news of the day is a rumored skirmish and 
evacuation of Yorktown, an advance of Morgan and Forrest 
with their cavalry troops on Nashville and Paducah to de- 
stroy government stores, and the falling back of the Yankee 
gunboats to New Orleans instead of attacking Vicksburg. 
That will give time to finish the fortifications at Vicksburg 
which are going up rapidly. 27 We have seen Butler's Procla- 
mation on taking possession of New Orleans and as he has 
the cool impudence to say " of the State of Louisiana/' It is 
a most tyrannical and insulting document and shows what 
mercy we may expect if subjugated. It made my blood boil 
to read it and I could cry when I think of New Orleans 
completely in his power. Let us hope this will rouse the spirit 
of the people who still linger at home and send them to the 
battlefield. How can anyone in the South ever fall so low as 
to take such an oath of allegiance? 28 

May 12: We went yesterday to church and on our return 
found Mr. Stockton and the two Messrs. Valentine comfort- 

27 Strengthening of the fortifications at Vicksburg started immediately 
after the fall of New Orleans. Back of the two-hundred foot bluff on 
which the city stands is a series of hills and narrow ridges, natural forti- 
fications that lent themselves to defense. Batteries of heavy guns were 
placed below the city to command the river. Batteries on the bluff 
commanded the river immediately hi front of the town. These emplace- 
ments were strengthened, new guns were placed in position, and bomb- 
proof magazines built into the ridges and hills. " The Defense of Vicks- 
burg," Battles and Leaders, III, 482-83. 

28 On May 1 General B. F. Butler issued a proclamation in taking pos- 
session of New Orleans in the name of the national government. He 
invited any so disposed to take an oath of allegiance. Benjamin F. 
Butler, Butlers Book (Boston, 1892) , 379-82. 


ably ensconced in the parlor waiting for us to come and 
entertain them until sundown. After they left I felt like a 
hard Monday's work had been done, but we still had three 
letters to write to our soldiers to meet the only regular mail 
since my return. Today my eyes are so tired. Joe Carson 
and Mr. Baker spent Saturday evening with us. 

We will commence on some clothes for My Brother tomor- 
row. He certainly did laugh over the gay red and yellow 
flannel suits we sent him in the fall. He did not wear them 
at all but gave them to Uncle Bo who sported around in 
them to the delight of the whole camp where they were a 
great joke. We will do better this time. The gloves with the 
open fingers were a flat failure. It seems soldiers are not 
always in a hurry or always shooting guns. They always 
have time to take off the gloves when necessary to use their 
fingers. As the Negroes say, " live and larn." 

Tried this morning to get to the Bend to see Julia but the 
backwater prevented; I came home but Jimmy braved it all 
and went on. Mamma and I have commenced enjoying our 
summer siestas and just as we had lain down, cool and com- 
fortably undressed, Mrs. Fontaine and her five sons came in 
to spend the afternoon. 

May 16: Heard nothing new. All are busy sewing on My 
Brother's shirts and plaiting hats, hurrying as fast as possible 
to get them off to Vicksburg before the Yankees take the 
city. Jimmy and Sister are both plaiting for a hat for 
Uncle Bo. 

Mamma and I rode up to Mrs. Hardison's for a short visit 
yesterday evening. I never saw such a quantity of beautiful 
ripe strawberries. The levee running through the garden is 
positively red with them. 

The backwater is slowly creeping up. But the Negroes are 
leveeing against it and we hope to keep it out. Today is a 
fast day and we are all going to church. Most of us keep the 
fast, though the boys find it hard. Mamma is calling me 
to get ready Jfor church. 

M ay 17: Norfolk has been abandoned and in consequence 


the Merrimac had to be burned to prevent its falling into 
the hands of the enemy. 

The gunboats came up to Natchez and demanded the 
surrender but on the refusal of the authorities anchored out 
in front of the town. One went back to New Orleans, perhaps 
for orders. We hear that Brother Coley's company has been 
sent back to Vicksburg but no scrap of a letter from the dear 
little boy. 

Met at church yesterday an old classmate from Nashville, 
Sue McNairy, a refugee. Mrs. Carson introduced us to Mrs. 
Gen. Buckner, Mrs. Gen. Mclntosh, Mrs. Keene, and Mrs. 
Tibbetts. Mrs. Buckner and Mrs. Mclntosh are staying with 
some of them until they can rejoin their husbands. Mrs. 
Carson was in her element introducing them to everybody 
in church. We are invited to spend today at Mrs. Savage's 
to meet Sue McNairy. 

The Negroes on that place have measles but it is confined 
as yet to the quarters. 

May 19: Spent the night at Mrs. Savage's. Sue did not 
come, much to my disappointment, as I wanted to have a 
long talk with her about our classmates. A storm prevented 
her. Natchez has surrendered and the gunboats are now 
above Rodney. 29 We listen hourly for the cannonading to 
begin at Vicksburg. Surely the gallant Mississippians will 
not give up their chief city without a struggle. 

Better the fire above the roll, 
Better the shot, the blade, the bowl, 
Than crucifixion of the SouL 

Better one desperate battle and the city in flames than tame 

Brother Walter went out to Omega to send a letter by 
the mail rider to Brother Coley. No news from them. 

I went up to Mrs. Hardison's to get some pinking done and 
have been working all the rest of the day on my black barege 

We heard the barking of cannon today and thought at first 

29 Natchez surrendered May 12, 1862. 


the fight was on at Vicksburg, but the firing was so slow we 
think now they were only getting the range of the guns. 

May 20: The flower garden is one mass of blooms now 
and the fragrance on the front gallery is delicious. Uncle 
Hoccles is very proud of his promising vegetables. But we 
hear there is great danger of the levee giving away just in 
front of us, and in that case farewell to gardens, orchards, 
crops, and everything. The levee for two miles is in a 
wretched state, but the planters have put all the available 
men on it and are working hard. They may save the day. 

May 22: All yesterday and today we have heard can- 
nonading at Vicksburg, sometimes so faint that it is more a 
vibration than a noise and again quite a loud, clear report. 
Oh, if we could only know just what is going on there. 30 But 
it may be days before we get any authentic accounts. We do 
not know the importance of holding Vicksburg. We know 
nothing of the plans. Some say the resistance there is only 
a feint to give Beauregard more time at Corinth, Miss., but 
we hope it is a desperate attempt to hold the city against 
all odds. We are sick of hearing of these prudent, cautious 
retreats without firing a gun. Our only hope is in desperate 
fighting. We are so outnumbered. We think Dr. Buckner's 
company is in Vicksburg, but being cavalry they may not 
be engaged. 

Evening. Brother Walter rode out on the dangerous levee 
and he thinks it will hold. Heard that the attack on Vicks- 
burg will be made this evening at 3 o'clock, the enemy land- 
ing at Warrenton and coming in the rear of the city. Brother 
Walter is almost wild to take part in the battle there. He has 
been in tears about it for the last week. This evening he 
has defied all control and taken the reins in his own hand. 
He has gone out to the river if possible to get a seat in some 
skiff going down. He says he must and will be in that fight, 
but we are not very anxious about him. We are sure all 
skiffs leaving Pecan Grove will have gotten away long before 

30 As Kate notes later, this firing was being done by Confederate 
artillerists testing guns. 


he reaches there, as it was two when he left. Mamma gave 
him some money but he took no clothes. He will be com- 
pelled to return soon. But Mamma feels that before many 
days she will be called on to give up this her third son to 
fight for his country. 

It seems useless to have a teacher. The boys left at home 
cannot settle to any work and who can blame them. 

All the boats stopped running three weeks ago on the fall 
of New Orleans and we have not had a mail since. There is 
no communication with anywhere except by skiff as the 
levees are broken between here and Vicksburg. 

All the boys are out on the river and we expect them to 
bring Anna Dobbs back with them to stay a few days. It 
seems odd to be expecting company and no flour or any 
" boughten " delicacy to regale them on, but we have been 
on a strict " war footing " for some time cornbread and 
home-raised meal, milk and butter, tea once a day, and coffee 
never. A year ago we would have considered it impossible 
to get on for a day without the things that we have been 
doing without for months. Fortunately we have sugar and 
molasses, and after all it is not such hard living. Common 
cornbread admits of many variations in the hands of a good 
cook eggbread (we have lots of eggs) , muffins, cakes, and so 
on. Fat meat will be unmitigated fat meat, but one need not 
eat it. And there are chickens, occasional partridges, and 
other birds, and often venison, vegetables of all kinds minus 
potatoes; and last but not least, knowing there is no help for 
it makes one content. There is hardly a family in the parish 
using flour constantly. All kept some for awhile for company 
and for the sick, but it is about exhausted now. 31 

Clothes have become a secondary consideration. Fashion 
is an obsolete word and just to be decently clad is all we 
expect. The change in dress, habits, and customs is nowhere 

31 Shortage of flour became general through, the Confederacy early 
in the war. Numerous substitutes were tried, rice flour, cornmeal, 
hominy, pea-meal, sorghum flour, " pumpkin bread," acorns, persimmons, 
clover, and lilies. Most people used cornmeal. Mary Elizabeth Massey, 
Ersatz in the Confederacy (Columbia, S. C., 1952) , 68-69. 


more striking than in the towns. 32 A year ago a gentleman 
never thought of carrying a bundle, even a small one, through 
the streets. Broadcloth was de rigueur. Ceremony and fash- 
ion ruled in the land. Presto-change. Now the highest in 
rank may be seen doing any kind of work that their hands 
find to do. The men have become " hewers of wood and 
drawers of water " and pack bundles of all sorts and sizes. It 
may be a pile of blankets, a stack of buckets, or a dozen 
bundles. One gentleman I saw walking down the street in 
Jackson, and a splendid-looking fellow he was, had a piece of 
fish in one hand, a cavalry saddle on his back, bridle, blankets, 
newspapers, and a small parcel in the other hand; and over 
his shoulder swung an immense pair of cavalry boots. And 
nobody thought he looked odd. Their willingness to fetch 
and carry is only limited by their strength. All the soldiers 
one sees when traveling are loaded down with canteen, knap- 
sack, haversack, and blankets. Broadcloth is worn only by 
the drones and fireside braves. Dyed linsey is now the fash- 
ionable material for coats and pants. Vests are done away 
with, colored flannel, merino, or silk overshirts taking the 
place. A gentleman thinks nothing of calling on half a dozen 
young ladies dressed in home-dyed Negro cloth and blue 
checked shirt. If there is a button or stripe to show that he 
is one of his country's defenders, he is sure of warmest wel- 
come. Another stops to talk to a bevy of ladies. He is laden 
down with a package of socks and tin plates that he is carry- 
ing out to camp, and he shifts the bundles from side to side 
as he grows interested and his arms get tired. In proportion 
as we have been a race of haughty, indolent, and waited-on 
people, so now are we ready to do away with all forms and 
work and wait on ourselves. 

The Southerners are a noble race, let them be reviled as 
they may, and I thank God that He has given my birthplace 
in this fair land among these gallant people and in a time 
when I can show my devotion to my Country. 

32 Though shortage of clothing developed more slowly than shortage 
of food, eventually civilians had difficulty in being " decently clad," 
Ibid., 79-98, * 


May 23: Have heard of my darling Katie's marriage. 
Who would have thought after our long close intimacy that 
I would hear of her wedding only by accident. I know she 
has written me everything but no letters come now. So have 
passed our dreams of sisterhood. I hope oh how I hope 
she has been able to forget the old love and is content with 
the new. May my dear girl be happy. God bless her and 
hers. I shall miss her out of my life, my dearest girl friend. 
How it will affect My Brother I can hardly say, but I have 
thought of late he had given up his love dream and was 
willing to take the dismissal he forced upon her. 

Brother Walter could not get off, greatly to his chagrin. 
He brought us the Whig of last Tuesday containing the cor- 
resondence of the authorities of Natchez and Vicksburg with 
the Yankees. The first city says you can take us if you will 
but under protest; we can do nothing. The second city says 
we will fight to the last. The gunboats have been at Vicks- 
burg for a week and have secured their answer to the demand 
to surrender some days ago, but there has been no bombard- 
ment. What we heard was the artillery men trying their guns. 

In the Whig is Butler's last infamous proclamation. It 
seems that the openly expressed scorn and hatred of the New 
Orleans women for Butler's vandal hordes has so exasperated 
him that he issues this proclamation: That henceforth if 
any female by word, look, or gesture, shall insult any of his 
soldiers, the soldier shall have perfect liberty to do with her 
as he pleases. Could any order be more infamous? It is but 
carrying out the battle cry "Bounty and Beauty" with 
which they started for New Orleans. May he not long pollute 
the soil of Louisiana. 33 

The levee is still very insecure with the river rising and the 

33 General Butler's General Order No. 28, the famous " woman order/' 
issued May 15, 1862, stated: " As officers and soldiers of the United 
States have been subject to repeated insults from women, calling them- 
selves ladies, of New Orleans in return for the most scrupulous non- 
interference and courtesy on our part, it is ordered hereafter, when any 
female shall, by mere gesture or movement, insult, or show contempt 
for any officers or soldiers of the United States, she shall be regarded 
and held liable to be treated as a woman about the town plying her 
vocation." Butler's Book, 414-19. 


rains bad on it. Many plantation hands are at work on it 
all the time and the owners watching it anxiously. We are 
almost overflowed from rain water as the ditches had to be 
stopped to keep out backwater. 

A note from Julia. They are washed out of house and 
home and are staying with Mrs. Maher. She would visit us 
could she get here. I wish she could. I cling to my other girl 
friends now that Kate is gone. 

Have done much reading lately in borrowed books. The 
Huguenots 3 * by James quite interesting; Caste, 35 a hateful, 
disgusting work on slavery of course and nothing true; the 
shady side of life in a country parsonage, descriptive of the 
life of a Northern minister does to read when there is nothing 
else; and The Widow Bidott Papers, 30 very amusing for 
awhile. Now I am on Rob Roy* 7 worth all the books ever 
written in Yankeedom. 

I have plaited one hat for My Brother, but as we have had 
no opportunity to send his clothes, Jimmy has taken posses- 
sion of it. Have started plaiting a very fine one for Brother 

May 25: Everything shines out bright and fair in the 
spring sunshine after the gloom of the last few days. The 
flowers wave and glisten most invitingly across the grass 
beyond the shadows of the great oaks, but it is too wet to 
venture over Nature's carpeting of soft, green grass. This 
evening we may plan what we please. The levees having 
stood so far we think will stand faithfully to the end. They 
have certainly been found faithful among few. 

Brother Walter went yesterday to get Mr. Mark Valentine 
to accompany him to Vicksburg to join in the fight there. 
He found him willing as he said and anxious to go, but 
actually Mr. Valentine had not had the energy to make the 

84 The Eugenots; or, The French Protestants (1838) , a novel by G. P. 
E. James (1799-1860) . 

35 A short novel by Emily Jolly published in London, 1857. 

36 Originally published as a series of humorous sketches in magazines 
in the 1840's, the book by Frances Miriam Whitcher (1812-52) was 
published hi 1855. 

37 By Sir Walter Scott, published in 1817. 


necessary arrangement to get off. He needed someone like 
Brother Walter, who is only seventeen, to give him an im- 
petus. Brother Walter is in better mood and confident of 
getting up a party and starting tomorrow. Dr. Lily, Mr. 
McNeely, Mr. Baker, and Capt. Buckner went down two 
days ago, and Brother Walter was so dreadfully disappointed 
at not getting off with them. 

May 26: All went to church yesterday. Mr. Holbury has 
started a Sunday school and Little Sister is eager to join it. 
Found the two Mr. Valentines awaiting us. Sunday is their 
visiting day. Old Mr. Valentine is very despondent, fore- 
telling the most abject poverty and starvation for the whole 
country. He came over to try and induce Mamma to have 
all the cotton plowed up in order to plant corn and to beg 
her not to let Brother Walter go to Vicksburg. He says, 
" Mark shall not go." He has made himself very unpopular 
by his bitter opposition to the cotton burning and by not 
allowing his son to join the army. There is no doubt he 
should go at once. Some actually think Mr. Valentine is in 
favor of our enemies and advocate hanging him by mob law. 
A most unjust report and utterly without foundation. I sup- 
pose his being of Northern birth increases the prejudice. The 
old gentleman we do not know very well, but we know the 
young one well and all like him immensely. 

In the afternoon there was a cry raised that there was a 
bear in the cane. The boys with their dogs and guns turned 
out in force, assisted by Mr. McRae, Ben Clarkson, as did 
all the Negroes who could get mules, while the others armed 
themselves with axes and sticks and cautiously approached 
the outskirts. The excitement ran high and we at the house 
had full benefit as it was in the canebrake just back of the 
yard. We could hear the barking of the dogs, the reports of 
the guns, and the cries and shouts of the whole party. It was 
very exhilirating. They returned in the highest state of 
excitement but without the bear. They went out next morn- 
ing but with no better success. 

Brother Walter has given up the idea of going to war 
just now. 


May 28: Yesterday evening and far into the night we 
heard the roar of cannonading more distinct and rapid than 
ever heard before. It must be at Vicksburg. Today all is 
quiet. One understands after hearing the long rolling booms 
how deafening it must be on a battlefield. Mrs. Abe Curry, 
Sue, and Mrs. Hazelitt spent yesterday with us and it passed 
very agreeably. The gentlemen who went to Vicksburg from 
Pecan Grove are back. They saw none of our friends. Dr. 
Buckner's company is on picket duty near Warrenton. 

The river is falling all the way down and we are saved from 
overflow this year. 

Papers and letters this evening, a month old. 

May SO: We have a paper of the twenty-seventh. It 
brings the good news of a battle or surprise by Stonewall 
Jackson at Winchester and Front Royal and the capture of 
all the stores at the former place and many prisoners. All the 
news is rather encouraging. We are holding our own at Fort 
Pillow. At Corinth the enemy are reported in retreat to 
their gunboats which, now that the Tennessee River is falling, 
they are compelled to get out at once. All is well in Virginia. 
And nearer home at Vicksburg there is nothing to discourage 
us. The slight shelling did no harm, and the soldiers are full 
of hope and anxious for the Yankees to land to give them 
the " worst beating they ever had in their lives." 

We hear the men behaved awfully at Warrenton, burned 
the property of Mr. Walker and Mr. Turner and put them 
in prison. 

My Brother and Uncle Bo have been gone just a year and 
what a year of changes. Nature smiles as bright and fair now 
as under the May sun of a year ago, but where are all " the 
loved ones who filled our home with glee? " Four of the dear 
familiar faces are absent. One sleeps the sleep that knows 
no waking. For him we have no more fear or trouble, for 
we know he has passed from Death into Life that " all is 
well with the child." But oh, the weary days of waiting and 
watching for the other three. 

Jimmy brought us two recent letters from My Brother. 
He encloses some violets gathered from the old trenches 


around Yorktown, dug there by Washington's army. His 
tent stands just where Cornwallis gave up his sword. What 
supreme satisfaction if McClellan could be induced to do 
the same thing at the same place. They say history repeats 
itself. 38 My Brother takes a most elderly brother tone re- 
garding Tom Manlove's love affairs. Four months ago Tom 
was desperate about Miss Eva, and now Miss Flora reigns sole 
empress of his heart for the next month. But My Brother 
need not be critical, as he is not so constant himself. He so 
regrets leaving Uncle Bo. They are now in different com- 
mands. He is anxious to get his clothes and speaks confi- 
dently of coming home. 

Jimmy brought Julia as far as Mrs. Hardison's. She will 
come on in the cool of evening. 

June 6: Nothing startling during the week. Julia is with 
us. The usual routine, visiting and receiving visits. Received 
this evening a late Vicksburg Whig. A good deal of interest. 
A number of shot and shell thrown but no material injury. 
One shot went through the Methodist church. 

Brother Walter went to Pecan Grove and Jimmy to the 
Bend trying to get molasses, but none to be had. Rumors 
are that the people at Baton Rouge, Natchez, and New 
Orleans had risen en masse and killed Butler and all his 
soldiers. We hoped I had almost said prayed that it might 
be so, but I am not yet so hardened that I can pray even 
for a Yankee's death. We learned soon after that it was only 
a canard. 

We caught a pretty lot of fish out of the bayou just out in 
front of the house. Julia was the most successful fisherman. 

All are busy plaiting for hats. Mamma does the sewing. 
The palmetto is beautifully white and soft after bleaching. 
Have plaited three and a basket recently one beautifully 
fine one for Mamma to give Mr. Valentine and am busy 
now on one for Sister. Shall make an exceedingly fine one 
for Col. Ferguson if I have luck. 

38 Kate's brother was in the Confederate Army opposing General 
George B. McClellan's advance on Richmond on the line of the York 


Thursday we were all up betimes and Julia, Jimmy, Johnny, 
and I set off before 7 o'clock to fish at the head of Grassy 
Lake. The ride in the cool morning air through the dark 
still woods, sweet with the breath of the wild grape blossoms, 
and in such merry company, was a thing to enjoy. We 
stopped to gather the first blackberries, cool and wet with 
dew. How often I think of Ashburn when the pleasures he 
so enjoyed a year ago are in the world again. How many a 
merry ride we have taken together, enjoying all the sights 
and sounds of spring. Dear heart, I know he is happy now 
beyond our dreams of bliss, but oh, to see him once more 
now that spring is in the land. 

The ride home through Oasis was just perfect. On one side 
were the tall colonnades of cypress and on the other the far 
reaching rows of waving corn, emerald in the sun. The 
horses were fleet and free as the wind that fanned us, and 
a smooth, hard road rang like metal under the hoofs of the 
horses. We had just time to dress and get comfortably 
settled in the front hall with our plaiting all around us and 
were telling Mamma our morning's adventures when Mr. 
Valentine came in. His first remark was "How cool and 
pleasant you all look." He stayed until ten at night and made 
himself very agreeable. In the afternoon we left him to 
Brother Walter while we took our usual evening rest. They 
played chess and backgammon and later we had music, con- 
versation, and cards. He much regretted not joining us on 
our morning ride. He failed only because he knew nothing 
of it and did not see us as we galloped through his place half 
a mile from his home. Naturally he did not. 

Letters from My Brother and Capt. Manlove dated May 
20 at Richmond. He told us of their marching from York- 
town and the fight they were in at Williamsburg. Both 
escaped unwounded. He wrote us of our one-time friend, Mr. 
Hewitt. He is passing himself off in Nashville as a wealthy 
Louisiana planter and as a colonel of a Mississippi regiment 
taken at Donelson and on parole. He is engaged to be mar- 
ried to one of the nice girls of Nashville. He is such a 
dreadful fraud, a perfect adventurer, and we think gets 


married at nearly every town in which he spends a month. 
He is very handsome, tall and blond, with delightful manners 
and always manages to get in with the best people. My 
Brother took the liberty of writing to the girl's father a full 
account of Mr. Hewitt, and we hope the girl will be saved. 
The Jeff Davis Guards were highly complimented for their 
gallantry on the field of Williamsburg and Capt. Tom Man- 
love is praised for his heroism in battle. His father, Capt. 
Manlove, wrote Mamma about it, and we saw it afterwards 
in Wednesday's Whig. Such a gratification to his father. The 
battalions were in the two days at Chickahominy. 30 All the 
officers escaped unhurt except the 3rd lieutenant who was 
killed. I think that is Lt. Floyd, to whom we sent things 
in My Brother's box. 

June 8: Anna, Robert, and Emily have just spent the last 
two days with us. Robert is home on sick leave. He has just 
spent five weeks in the hospital and looks dreadful. He does 
not want to talk, only to eat and sleep. So congenial Anna 
is more quiet than ever before. All went fishing in the 

No late news from Brother Coley. Why does he not write? 
Now that he has been in two battles, he must be better 
satisfied. We are glad to see his company so highly spoken 
of. Must stop. They are calling us to go to church. 

Evening. What a budget of news we heard there: " Poor 
Stokes/' arrested at Knoxville as a spy and his appeal to 
his friends in Madison Parish to bear witness to his love of 
the South, the fight at Fort Pillow, the evacuation of Vicks- 
burg, the occupation of Memphis, the defeat of our gunboats 
and the loss of seven out of nine, and the falling back of 
Beauregard from Corinth to Holly Springs. 40 What a long list 
of disasters. But there is some good news to offset it. Mrs. 
Dancy sent out Friday's papers giving an account of the 

39 Kate is probably referring to the Battle of Fair Oaks or Seven 
Pines, May Si-June 1, 1862. 

40 Port Pillow, Tenn , June 4; Memphis, Tenn., June 6, 1862. The 
gunboats referred to were lost in the naval battle for Memphis. The 
report about Vicksburg being lost was, of course, unfounded. Beauregard 
retired to Tupelo, not Holly Springs. 


victory at Chickahominy after a two-day fight, capturing 
camp, breastworks, and ten guns. Stonewall Jackson has 
crossed the Potomac, whipped Banks' army, and ten thou- 
sand Marylanders have flocked to his standard. Again, a 
rumor that France and Spain have recognized the Con- 
federacy. We are hoping the bad news is all false and the 
good all true. 

Julia and I wrote all the news off in telegraphic style and 
sent it over to Mr. Valentine by the messenger who carried 
over a palmetto hat 41 and some books sent by Mamma. 

June 9: The men had another meeting at Goodrich's 
today, and as usual they did a great deal of talking and 
nothing else. 

We went fishing and came back with nice strings of perch. 
We found Mrs. Carson and Katie being entertained by Mam- 
ma. They stayed until one. Their first visit for three months. 
Mrs. Carson was evidently miffed about something. We did 
not know what. Mr. Stenckrath perhaps made mischief. 
But she seems all right now. So let it pass, no time for 
neighborhood rows. Not a word from Kate since I left 

June 11: Mamma, Julia, and I went out to Mrs. Savage's 
today, and when at the Ballard gate Uncle Tom let go the 
reins to shut it the mules set off at a gallop. They ran about 
a mile and, crossing the bayou bridge safely, swerved to one 
side, and dashed into the woods. But they were soon brought 
up by going one on each side of a tree with no worse injury 
to the carriage than the breaking of the pole. I had jumped 
out just as we turned into the woods, compelled by Mamma's 
hand, and landed just in the midst of a thorn bush, a little 
scratched and torn. Mamma was in the carriage and was all 
right, except for the fright. We hurried back to see how 
Julia had fared, for she had obeyed Mamma and jumped 
out soon after the mules started to run. We found her about 

41 Because of shortage of materials, hats for both men and women were 
made of many kinds of grasses and straw, palmetto being the most 
popular. When palmetto was not available, hats were made of wheat, 
oat, and rye straw. 


half a mile away trudging to find us, thinking maybe we had 
been killed, with Uncle Tom not far behind hurrying to get 
to us. Julia was quite used up. She had fallen fiat in the 
dust, broken her comb, lost her hair pins, torn her dress, 
and was quite badly bruised and shaken. Uncle Tom patched 
up the pole and we were so glad to escape so easily that we 
got in the carriage and went on to pay our visit. But Julia 
is sore and tired tonight. Mamma always gets so frightened 
when the horses run away and always tries to get everybody 
to jump out while she waits until all are out to jump and 
save herself. My idea is that it is much safer to stay in and 
I always try to hold Mamma in. 

We found Mrs. Savage in all the hurry of packing up. 
Dr. Lily and Robert have at last persuaded her to leave the 
river and go out to Bayou Macon until the war is over, for 
fear of the Yankees raiding the places when they come down 
the river. Mrs. Savage and the other ladies are much op- 
posed to leaving home, but they have been over-persuaded. 

Her garden is lovely now. How Mrs. Savage will miss her 
flowers when she is far away. Robert is improving rapidly 
and shall soon rejoin his command. 

We still hold Vicksburg and will hold on as long as it is 
possible. Mr. Selser is just from there. He saw Brother 
Coley, who keeps well. Much dissatisfaction in the company. 
We hear that another grand battle has been fought near 
Richmond, resulting in the defeat of McClellan. Oh! that it 
may be true. 

Both Uncle Bo and My Brother must have been in it. 
Mamma just received a letter from them dated in April. 

Yankee gunboats are looked for tomorrow or next day. 

June 18: We got a paper with the latest news Stonewall 
Jackson's successes in Maryland and his defeat of Shields 
and Fremont. The news is most encouraging, but we listen 
with trembling hearts for fear he may be surrounded and cut 
off there in the enemy's country. 

Julia was so hurt by her runaway adventure that she could 
not get up until afternoon. Joe Carson came in the evening 
and stayed long enough after breakfast for me to beat 


two games of chess. Mrs. Alexander and Lou came to take 
Julia to spend the day, and just as she was ready to go here 
came pacing up Mr. McGee and Mr. NcNeely to spend the 
" live-long day/' In a few minutes Brother Walter and Dun- 
can Gustine came in from the Bend. Brother Walter has 
been riding around nearly every day ostensibly hunting, but 
we think he is trying to organize a secret guerrilla company 
to harass the enemy should they land troops near here. He, 
Duncan, and Ben Clarkson went down to see Charley Scott 
this evening to go hunting they said. 

June 17: Well, today we will spend quietly at home as 
Julia is in bed, trying to ward off a chill. She had one coming 
from church Sunday, 

Yesterday we spent at Dr. Carson's. One of the hottest 
days possible. Gen. Breckinridge was in the neighborhood 
and was expected to dinner, but much to our regret did not 
come. 42 We all wished to meet him. We have not yet seen 
a major general and he is said to be exceedingly handsome. 
Mrs. Carson is much depressed, worrying all the time about 
Joe's going to the army. She will not let him get off. Joe, 
Mr. Baker, and Mr. McNeely made themselves very agree- 
able. We had a charming time in the grand old garden. Mrs. 
Buckner and her three children came in the afternoon. How 
she does admire her husband, who is now a Major. 

Saturday Julia, Sister, Johnny, and I rode down on horse- 
back to call on Mrs. Maher and coming back stopped with 
Mrs. Graves until evening excessively warm. Theresa and 
Lamartine Graves came back with us and stayed until next 
evening. All went riding, but it was too warm and dusty 
for pleasure. Brother Walter has gone to Vicksburg to spend 
a week with Brother Coley. He went on an old flatboat as 
the road is still impassable. We sent a hat to Brother Coley 
and one for Col. Ferguson but they may be sights by the 
time the owners get them, as Brother Walter is not the most 

42 Jolin C Breckinridge, onetime Vice-President of the United States, 
and a presidential candidate in 1860, entered the Confederate service as 
a brigadier general and soon was promoted to major general. He was at 
this time in command of troops in Mississippi. Biographical Directory 
of U. S. Congress. 


careful boy in the world. Yesterday and for several days the 
Bend has been crowded with soldiers going from the army 
at Corinth to Little Rock [Ark.]. Some of them the river 
planters send on in wagons but numbers of them walk. 
Johnny and Jimmy have started to school again. 

June 20: Good news from My Brother. We see from the 
last Whig that he is now Adjutant of the 2nd Miss. Bat- 
talion. I am so glad. He ranks now as Captain. He is not 
ambitious for himself, but I am very ambitious for him. All 
my dreams of future glory for our name center in My Brother. 
God bless him. 

June 21: Julia left us today after a much enjoyed visit 
of three weeks that have passed all too quickly. She is a 
charming guest, so gay and full of life and never, no never 
makes mischief. Mrs. Carson and Katie spent the morning 
and Joe the afternoon and evening. We amused him with 
chess and music. Sister enjoys having Katie with her, and 
Mamma and Mrs. Carson have pleasant chats together while 
Mrs. Carson's boys and ours are great friends. 

One evening we all went fishing on Prairie Lake, through 
sloughs and the densest canebrakes. We could scarcely 
force the horses through the ugly banks to the lake, and 
there were more crayfish and snakes than we ever saw. Not 
many fish. But it was a new jaunt and we liked the excite- 
ment of the ride. 

While Julia was here, we all went to spend one day at 
Mrs. Curry's and it passed very gaily with talking and 
laughing, sewing and plaiting hats. In the afternoon we 
ventured again to Prairie Lake eight boys and four girls 
and a merry time we had racing through the cane over logs 
and stump holes, dodging vines and fallen trees. So reck- 
lessly they rode, I feared someone would be hurt. Mr. Haze- 
litt did pitch head foremost into my hat as he stopped to 
pick it up, but he was not hurt. And such a lot of splendid 
fish we brought home. 

Julia, Mrs. Abe Curry, Sue Richards, and I and Mr. Haze- 


litt, Duncan Gustine, Mr. Clarkson's boys, the two Mackeys, 
our two boys, and little How Curry were the party. 
Rumors of a ninety-day armistice. 

June 25: Well, we have at last seen what we have been 
looking for for weeks the Yankee gunboats descending the 
river. The Lancaster No. 3 led the way, followed by the ram 
Monarch** We hope they will be the first to be sunk at 
Vicksburg. We shall watch for their names. They are pollut- 
ing the waters of the grand old Mississippi. Monday when 
Mamma and I went out to Mr. Newman's to spend the day 
and stopped at Mrs. Savage's to get Anna, Mr. McGee came 
down and told us the gunboats were in sight at Goodrich's, 
and about 4 o'clock, while at dinner, one of the servants said 
they were coming around the bend. We all ran out on the 
gallery for our first sight of the enemy, and soon we saw one 
craft bearing rapidly down the river, dark, silent, and sinister. 
Very few men were in sight and no colors were flying. There 
were no demonstrations on either side, but oh, how we hated 
her deep down in our hearts, not the less that we were power- 
less to do any harm. Soon three others came gliding noise- 
lessly by, and we could have seen every boat and all the men 
sunk to the bottom of the river without a pang of regret. 
One transport was crowded with men. It looked black with 
them, and they had the impudence to wave at us. We would 
have been glad to return the compliment with a shot from a 
battery crashing right into the boat. One passed, then turned, 
and rounded into the hole just in front of the house, blowing 
the whistle. 

We were certain she was going to land, and since the house 
is just at the river, a scene of excitement ensued. The 
gentlemen insisted we should leave the house and hide some- 
where until the carriage could be hitched up for us to flee 
to the back country. We rushed around the house, each 
person picking up any valuable in the way of silver, jewelry, 

43 After the fall of the river forts north of Memphis and then the 
fall of Memphis itself, the Mississippi was open to the Federal fleet all 
the way down to Vicksburg. These boats were waiting for Admiral 
Farragut's fleet to come up from below Vicksburg. 


or fancy things he could find, and away we ran through the 
hot, dusty quarter lot, making for the only refuge we could 
see, the tall, thick cornfield just beyond the fence. Two 
soldiers who were taking dinner with us were hurried ahead, 
as we knew they would be captured if recognized. Just as 
we were in full retreat, a motley crew soldiers, women, 
children, and all the servants, in full view of the boat we 
could see the spyglasses levelled at us. Some one called for 
us to come back. It was a feint. The gunboat was not 
landing. So we turned back to the house, a hot excited lot 
of people, and the dinner cold on the table. 

The boats ran up and down for awhile and then anchored 
for the night at the foot of the Island. 44 A boat came ashore 
with three men and they had quite a conversation with some 
of our fireside braves assembled to see the sights. The 
Yankees, one a Col. Elliott, 45 were in full uniform and armed 
cap-a-pie. Some of the men, notably Mr. Newman and Mr. 
Hannah, answered all their questions, told them all they 
knew, and then tried to buy provisions from the boats, telling 
the officers they were nearly starving. It was an awful story 
for the country is filled with every eatable that could be 
raised. Mr. Cox acted like a man of proper spirit and denied 
what the other men had said about starvation. 

The two Newman girls and Robert Norris came out home 
with us to await developments. Robert has fever and the 
mumps, and while Mamma hates dreadfully for the disease 
to get on the place, she could not let Robert, a soldier, run 
the risk of being captured out on the river. And so she in- 
vited him to stay with us. There were five of the boats, one 
at Goodrich's, two about Omega, and two others have gone 
farther down the river. 

June 26: Mrs. Savage and Emily came out this morning 

44 The island mentioned here is Island No. 103, or what was then 
known as My Wife's Island. It was located near to the Madison Parish 
side of the river a few miles north of Vicksburg. 

45 Probably Colonel Alfred W. Ellet, commander of the Monarch. 
Altogether there were six Ellets, brothers, father and son, and nephews, 
connected with the Federal rams. Gosnell, Guns on the Western Waters, 


to breakfast, and as she thought there was no further danger, 
she took Robert home with her. The Yankee officers said 
they came ashore to u assure the inhabitants that they medi- 
tated no injury." They had seen some ladies very much 
frightened and they regretted it, as the ladies were in no 
danger and would not be molested in any way. Annie and 
Lizzie Newman spent today with Mrs. Hardison and tonight 
at Mrs. Curry's, returning here in the morning. We are so 
anxious about Brother Walter. We cannot see how he can 
get home. 

June 27: Brother Walter is safe at home again. He got 
back last night looking as brown and weather-beaten as any 
soldier of them all and so tired and stiff that he can hardly 
walk. He crossed the river in a skiff and walked all the way 
from Vicksburg to Willow Bayou in one day, following the 
railroad track. Mrs. Morris sent him on the next day on 
horseback, and we were delighted when he rode up. Brother 
Coley is well and in high spirits. Aunt Laura and Beverly 
are in Jackson. Brother Walter would have remained over 
for the fight at Vicksburg, but the battle on land is not 
expected to come off for some weeks yet. So he very wisely 
came home. 

Lizzie and Annie Newman went home this morning. I 
hope they enjoyed their visit. They seemed to find it pleas- 
ant as they did not want to go home for another week. 

Joe Carson came out Wednesday afternoon. And Thurs- 
day, directly after an early breakfast, we started out to 
Prairie Lake fishing. We stopped at Mrs. Curry's for the 
Newman girls and we got not only them but Sue and Miss 
Bledsoe as well. We stayed until eleven and had a lovely 
time. It was so pleasant in the woods fragrant wild grape 
blossoms, a delightful breeze, and a deep blue sky with 
drifting clouds of snow. The finest fish were biting just fast 
enough to make it interesting without being tiresome. It was 
a gay company and the horses seemed to enjoy the ride as 
much as the riders. Lizzie came home with us. The girls go 
home in the morning. 


Col. Ferguson's hat was a flat failure too small. Srocher 
Coley's was just right. 

Dr. Buckner is indeed a friend in need. He sent Mamma, 
by Brother Walter, several hundred dollars to buy supplies. 
A most kind and generous action that we all appreciate. 
Money is so hard to raise these days and this will last some 

June 29: Brother Walter brought a letter from My 
Brother to Mamma. It was sent by Tom Manlove, who is 
at home on sick leave. In the letter he is despondent and 
homesick and very anxious about us all now that the enemy 
is at our very doors. He says that it will kill him to remain 
idle in Virginia when we are in such danger and that he must 
come back to see about us and fight with the Mississippi 
army. He seems so desperate. We fear he will do something 
rash and get into trouble. He cannot realize that we are safe 
enough for the present. 

We hear today that the Yankees are impressing all the 
Negro men on the river places and putting them to work on 
a ditch which they are cutting across the point opposite 
Vicksburg above DeSoto. They hope to turn the river 
through there and to leave Vicksburg high and dry, ruining 
that town and enabling the gunboats to pass down the river 
without running the gauntlet of the batteries at Vicksburg. 46 
They have lately come up as far as Omega, four miles from 
us, taking the men from Mr. Noland's place down. We hear 
several have been shot attempting to escape. We were satis- 
fied there would soon be outrages committed on private 
property. Mamma had all the men on the place called up, 
and she told them if the Yankees came on the place each 
Negro must take care of himself and run away and hide. 
We think they will. 

From a late paper we see that Butler is putting his foot 

48 General Thomas Williams' brigade landed on the Louisiana side of 
the river opposite Vicksburg on June 25, 1862, and collected about 1,200 
Negroes from the neighboring plantations to dig a canal across the mile- 
wide peninsula created by a hairpin turn in the Mississippi F. V. 
Greene, The Mississippi (New York, 1909) , 21-23. 


down more firmly every day. A late proclamation orders 
every man in the city to take the oath of allegiance. There 
will be the most severe penalties in case of refusal. Butler 
had Mr. Mumford, a gentleman of New Orleans, shot for 
tearing down the first flag hoisted in New Orleans over the 
mint. The most infamous order and murder of which only 
Butler is capable. Is the soul of Nero reincarnated in the 
form of Butler? Why can he not fall of the scourge of New 
Orleans, yellow fever? 

Gen. Breckinridge started to Vicksburg yesterday in a 
carriage, and he runs great risk of being captured, as they 
have pickets across the point. 47 Several of our soldiers have 
been taken trying to make their way across there. Brother 
Walter slipped through just in time. 

The drought was broken last night by a good rain and 
the planters are feeling better. This insures a good corn 
crop and it was beginning to suffer. It is so essential to make 
good food crops this year. When we heard the cool drops 
splashing on the roof, "We thanked God and took fresh 
courage." Such a lovely morning. It is a pleasure to breathe 
the soft, cool air and look out over the glad, green fields, 
flashing and waving in the early sunlight. 

Mamma had a chill and was in bed all day. How I dread 
to see her start again having fevers. 

Martha, one of Courtney's twins, will die, they think 
tonight. The poor little creature has suffered a long time. 

Mr. Catlin, Mrs. Bledsoe, and my pet aversion, Dr. Slicer, 
are amusing themselves during all this time of threatened 
ruin and disaster by getting up fish frys and picnics, aided 
and abetted by all that set back there calling themselves 
second-class and they have named themselves truly. 

Sister sent Douglas's hat over to him. Joe Carson's is 
nearly done, but only Mamma can finish it and she is sick. 

June SO: The excitement is very great. The Yankees 

47 General Breckinridge was hastening to Vicksburg where he was to 
command troops. The Confederates expected a land attack after the 
successful running of the batteries on June 7-28 by Farragut's fleet. 
" The Defense of Vicksburg," Battles and Leaders, TTT, 483-84. 


have taken the Negroes off all the places below Omega, the 
Negroes generally going most willingly, being promised their 
freedom by the vandals. The officers coolly go on the places, 
take the plantation books, and call off the names of all the 
men they want, carrying them off from their masters without 
a word of apology. They laugh at the idea of payment and 
say of course they will never send them back. A good many 
planters are leaving the river and many are sending their 
Negroes to the back country. We hope to have ours in a 
place of greater safety by tomorrow. 

Dr. Nutt and Mr. Mallett are said to be already on their 
way to Texas with the best of their hands. Jimmy and Joe 
went to the Bend and Richmond today. They saw Julia and 
Mary Gustine, who sent me word that I was a great coward 
to run away. Mary had talked to a squad of Yankee soldiers 
for awhile and found them anything but agreeable. 

All on this place, Negroes and whites, are much wrought 
up. Of course the Negroes do not want to go, and our fear 
is when the Yankees come and find them gone they will burn 
the buildings in revenge. They are capable of any horror. 
We look forward to their raid with great dread. Mrs. Savage 
sent for her silver today. We have been keeping it since the 
gunboats came. They will all leave in two days for Bayou 
Macon. Would like to see them before they get off. 

Mamma has been in bed all day. Sister is suffering with a 
large rising on her leg and Brother Walter from a severe cold. 
He is spitting blood, all yesterday and today, and tomorrow 
is compelled to go on a long trip. We have been arranging 
everything for an early start. 

July 5: Another Fourth of July has gone by without any 
festivities, not even a dinner for the Negroes, but they have 
holiday. The Yankees told Mr. McRae, while they were 
holding him prisoner, that they would celebrate the day by a 
furious attack on Vicksburg. But we have heard few guns 
since the third. That day we heard them very distinctly, 
almost a continuous roar. It was said both mortar fleets were 
firing on Vicksburg. We have not heard the result. 

The Yankees are gathering in the Negroes on the river 


as fast as possible. They have taken all the men able to work 
from Lake Providence to Pecan Grove and from Omega to 
Baton Rouge. They are hourly expected at Pecan Grove. 
Robert is with us to be out of the way when they do come. 
He is nearly well. The Negroes are eager to go, leaving wife 
and children and all for freedom promised them, but we hear 
they are being worked to death on the canal with no shelter 
at night and not much to eat. 

There has been no attempt at resistance. Some of the 
plantations have been deserted by the owners, some of them 
burned by the Yankee bands, and some of them not molested. 
It depends on the temper of the officer in charge. If he feels 
malicious, he burns the premises. If a good-natured enemy, 
he takes what he wants and leaves the buildings standing. 
Most of them are malicious. Mamma will have the Negro 
men taken to the back country tomorrow, if she can get them 
to go. Generally when told to run away from the soldiers, 
they go right to them and I cannot say I blame them. 

Mamma has been sick in bed since Sunday and is not yet 
able to be up all day. We sent for Dr. Devine first, and he 
gave her a dose of podophyllin that completely exhausted 
her, since she always suffers dreadfully with nausea, and that 
nearly killed her. So we sent for Dr. Dancy, and she is im- 
proving, but slowly. 

Brother Walter went out to Monroe, eighty miles, and got 
back yesterday. He succeeded in buying enough molasses to 
last the place the year and some little necessaries at enor- 
mous prices. The trading boats are coming down the river 
again with groceries at ridiculously low prices, but of course 
no patriot could think of buying from them. Mamma was 
able to sell her surplus corn and that helped her on wonder- 
fully. She had such quantities of it. And we certainly will 
have eatables this year, judging from the looks of the great 
fields of corn, peas, and potatoes. Not much cotton planted. 
Mamma so longed for ice while she was ill, but it was im- 
possible to get it, while those wretches on the gunboats could 
even have ice cream if they wished it. 
People going and coming all the week. Mrs. Carson kindly 


brought Mamma a substitute for lemonade and some crack- 
ers. She was out twice. 

It is hard for sick people to live on cornbread. We fortu- 
nately have a little flour, sent Mamma by Mr, Hardison as a 
specimen of some home-grown wheat. Joe has been out sev- 
eral times. The last time I was just finishing his hat. I gave 
it to him and it fitted beautifully. He was so pleased with 
the gift that it repaid me for the yards of plaiting. Joe is the 
only " stay-at-home " I would give anything to, but I know 
so well it is not his fault. Mr. Hornwasher came out with 
Mrs. Carson, his black eyes sparkling and dancing even more 
than usual. He still speaks of joining the army. 

We hear rumors of a great battle in Virginia and the utter 
discomfiture of McClellan with Gen. Lee attacking him in 
front and Stonewall Jackson with 2,800 men in the rear. 
That was a " stonewall " McClellan found hard to climb. 
My Brother and Uncle Bo must both have been in the fight, 
but we have had no news from them for such a long time. It 
is heart-sickening. 48 

July 6: Johnny and Mr. Hardison, just from the Bend, 
say the victory over McClellan is assured. We attacked and 
after a three-day fight utterly routed them, capturing most 
of the force. It is such good news that we can hardly believe 
it is true. 

We are so anxious about My Brother. Any disaster to Tim? 
would nearly kill Mamma in her weakened state. She loves 
him more than anything on earth, and he is to me the dearest 
person in the world, next to Mamma. Uncle Bo must have 
been in the battle, and we cannot hear how he has fared. 
Suspense is hard to bear. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hardison and all the children were down this 
evening. Alice is going tomorrow to her brother's to live. We 
are sorry for the poor, desolate little thing. 

July 7: Sister and I went this morning to Judge Byrnes' 

48 Kate had heard the first accounts of the Battle of Seven Days, 
which began on June 26. In this engagement the Confederates under 
E. E. Lee drove the Federal Army back from the approaches to 
Richmond, Va. 


below the Bend to see Julia. Heard many rumors but noth- 
ing reliable and much about the Negroes and the Yankees. 
Saw several gunboats go by. The two-story house is just at 
the river, and they have an excellent view both up and down 
the river. By the way, it is named River View. 

As we passed Omega, a gunboat had landed and a number 
of soldiers in the hateful blue uniform with shining guns and 
bristling bayonets were lounging on the levee. 49 We did not 
stop to look at them but drove by as rapidly as Webster 
could make the mules go (We have only one carriage horse 
now) . 

They say we are to have two Texas regiments over to 
protect us tomorrow. We certainly hope so, for we seem to be 
given up to the evil one now. 

The suspense about our loved ones is hard to bear, but 
then not so bad as the certainty of evil would be. 

July 8: This afternoon Jimmy and I rode over to see 
Mrs. Curry. She had heard a rumor of George Richards' 
death as coming from us and sent over this morning to find 
out what we knew, which was nothing. It was merely a 
rumor, but we thought it kinder to go over and explain. We 
were so sorry she had heard anything unless it had been a 
certainty one way or the other. We went on to ride. A lovely 
evening but how the thought of Ashburn with his bright face 
and cheery ways is intertwined with every summer pleasure. 
I never go to put on my habit that I do not fancy I hear his 
laughing voice at the door calling me to come on and his 
merry whistle echoing through the house 

His place in all the pomp that fills 
The circuit of the summer hills 
Is that his grave is green 

July 11: Wednesday, Lou Whitmore, a distant cousin of 
ours living near Lake Providence, came on a visit, the second 

49 After Farragut ran the batteries, he was joined by another fleet, 
which had come down from Memphis, and the combined fleets lay in the 
Mississippi between Vicksburg and the mouth of the Yazoo River. 
Gosnell, Gum on the Western Waters, 102-103. 


time we ever saw her, but Mamma had known her father 
years ago. She paid us a short visit when we first moved up 
here. She is rather pretty but is very shy and such a timid 
creature. Her mother has been dead for some years, and she 
lives alone with her father, who is now overseeing, a broken- 
down scion of a better family. He seems coarse and rough 
and she seems in terror of him. I think he has ruined himself 
drinking. She is to stay some weeks. 

Several visitors Wednesday, among them Joe and Willy 
Carson. Mrs. Carson has at last given her consent for Joe 
to go and he is in the wildest spirits. He leaves on Monday 
to join Gen. Breckinridge at Vicksburg as volunteer aide. 
We can send letters by him and also Beverly's set of aprons, 
at last finished. They are pretty with such a lot of em- 
broidery on them and made by my own hands. Mrs. Carson 
is quite resigned to Joe's going. She has a happy temperament 
and soon rallies from any trouble. We shall miss Joe greatly, 
but I am so glad he is going. It is his duty. He is as old as 
Brother Coley, about nineteen. He is to be a bold soldier 
boy and he is perfectly happy. He says he wishes nothing 
else in this world. 

Thursday Anna and Robert spent one of the hottest days 
on record with us. They came to say farewell as they were 
to move out next day, bag and baggage, to Bayou Macon. 
But today Mrs. Savage told Mamma she just would not go. 
Come what may, she is going to stay at home. So she will 
have the pleasure or displeasure of moving back, Negroes, 
furniture, piano, everything. The one week they spent out 
on the Bayou seemed to have disgusted them, and all of them 
want to come back home and stay there. 

The conscripts are being enrolled, so Mr. Hazelitt has 
given up his school and is hunting up a company to join. 50 
So the boys have nothing to do but hunt and fish, and they 
keep us supplied with fish and game. 

The last accounts are that McClellan lost 0,000 killed 

50 The first conscription law was passed by the Confederate Congress 
in April, 1862, taking into military service all able-bodied men between 
the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. A. B. Moore, Conscription and 
Conflict in the Confederacy (New York, 1924) , 12-26. 


and wounded, 30,000 prisoners, and thirty miles of wagons. 
Pursuit is still continuing and prisoners being brought in. 
The Yankee army is completely demoralized. All this seems 
too stupendous to be the truth. No news yet for us. We are 
said to have lost 10,000 killed and wounded. 51 

July IS: We bade Joe and Robert good-bye today at 
church. I was sorry to see Joe go. He is such a nice boy. And 
I think we both looked through tears when we shook hands, 
maybe for the last time. 

McClellan was not captured. He is receiving heavy rein- 
forcements and entrenching where he is. The Yankees visited 
Mr. Newman's on Friday and carried away everything they 

Charley Scott and Allen Bridges took dinner here today. 
They came to see Brother Walter about joining a company. 

July 15: Continuous and heavy cannonading all day in 
the direction of Vicksburg ceased soon after dark. 

We have the finest melons and in this excessively hot 
weather they are a luxury. Lou Whitmore brought down for 
me a beautiful guitar, given her by her father. She does not 
play and insists on my keeping it, but neither do I. She is 
the most generous girl. She wants to give away everything, 
even her clothes, and when do we know we are going to get 
any more? 

Brother Walter and Jimmy have been riding for several 
days helping to raise partisan bands for home protection. 

July 18: Mamma has been unwell for several days and is 
quite ill today. We sent for Dr. Dancy and after looking him 
up all day found him half tipsy, following Mr. Williams 
around. As an excuse, he sent word he had a pressing en- 
gagement and recommended Dr. Slicer. And I just feel he 
is an ignoramus and disagreeable to boot. Mrs. McRae is 
very kind and comes frequently, though she is suffering tor- 
ture with earache. 

Still nothing from Virginia. We are anxious for Mr. Curry 

51 Again Kate is referring to the Battle of Seven Days. The news- 
paper account is somewhat exaggerated. 


to get back but dread it. He will have definite news. The 
ram Arkansas has done good work at Vicksburg. It sank 
several boats and disabled others. 52 

A good many cases of sickness are on the place, and Sister 
has been complaining for two weeks. She suffers with her 
head. Mr. Hardison was telling us of Mrs. Abe Curry's trip 
on horseback to Floyd. 53 She must be crazy. 

July 21: Oh, this long, cruel suspense. No news yet. 
Surely, if they were both alive, they would have communi- 
cated with us by this time. Every day adds to my conviction 
that My Brother is desperately hurt. I cannot think of him 
as dead. We see in one of the last papers that his brigade 
suffered terribly nearly all of the field officers disabled, and 
My Brother's Colonel, John G. Taylor, whom he loved so 
much, among the killed. We are relieved about Uncle Bo. 
His regiment did not suffer greatly. We have seen the list of 
killed and wounded and his name is not there. We are thank- 
ful for his escape. But my heart leaps to my lips and I turn 
sick with apprehension whenever I hear a quick step, see a 
stranger approaching, or note a grave look on the face of 
any of the boys coming in from a ride. And I must conceal 
it all for Mamma's sake. She has been very ill since my last 
writing but is better tonight. We have been sitting up with 
her for two nights. She is in the east room and I am occupy- 
ing hers for the time. We did not let her see the report of 
My Brother's brigade. If there is trouble, she can bear it 
better when she regains her strength. She noticed the torn 

52 The Arkansas, begun in Memphis in the winter of 1861-62, was 
brought to Yazoo City, Miss., for completion in the spring of 1862. 
Commissioned in July, the Arkansas on July 15 engaged the Federal 
Carondelet, Tyler, and Queen of the West in the Yazoo River, near the 
Mississippi, successfully fought of? the Federal fleet, and reached Vicks- 
burg, where it was exposed to enemy fire continuously until the Federal 
fleet withdrew up the river about ten days later. Shortly thereafter, the 
Arkansas was destroyed near Baton Rouge to prevent capture by the 
Essex. Battles and Leaders, III, 572-79; GosneU, Guns on the Western 
Waters, 101-35. 

53 A round trip of approximately fifty miles. Floyd was at the time the 
parish seat of Carroll Parish. 


place in the newspaper and I had to tell a story to account 
for it. I pray the Recording Angel may mercifully blot it out. 

Brother Coley's company is now at Skipwith's Landing 
with one other company to support a battery planted there. 
Wish the authorities would send them to this side of the 

The man has just returned from Dr. Carson's with a 
wagonload of fruit. Everybody in the house is asleep, but, 
oh, as it is, I shall eat some of those lovely blue figs shining 
up through the leaves covering the basket. How the boys 
would enjoy them if I would wake them up, but morning is 
a better time for them to devour them. 

July 24: Good news! Good news! We thank God who 
has preserved our loved ones unhurt through the fire of battle 
after battle. The news came today in a letter from Mrs. 
Narcisse Johnson at Lake Washington to Mamma telling her 
that Brother Coley had passed there on his way to camp at 
Greenville [Miss.]. He asked her to write to Mamma and 
to say that he had heard of My Brother since the battles and 
he escaped unhurt. Truly God has been merciful to us all. 
It was kind of Mrs. Johnson to write. We know her very 

Mamma had grown so anxious that Brother Walter started 
to Vicksburg at daybreak this morning to get news. He will 
go all the way in a canoe, paddling himself. Truly navigation 
on the Mississippi is returning to the customs of the abori- 
gines. Mamma is still in bed and improves very slowly. 
Company every day this week, but I am thankful to say 
none to spend the day. A note from Julia saying she and her 
mother will come out Saturday if we can send the carriage. 

A partisan band camped at the schoolhouse last evening 
and Lou and Sister, returning from Mrs. Curry's, saw them. 
They said they would be back this evening. Johnny and I 
walked out to see, but ne'er a soldier was in sight, only 
several Negroes returning from their Yankee pleasure trip, 
weary and footsore and eager to get home. Numbers of them 
pass here going home, bending their necks to the yoke again, 
preferring the old allegiance to the new. But numbers are 


still running to the gunboats. TVe would not be surprised to 
hear that all of ours have left in a body any day. 

I wrote to Brother Coley by Mrs. Johnson's servant, and 
he will get the letter in a few days. I feel so relieved and 
lighthearted after those weeks of suspense, I could do any 
foolish thing. If only Mamma were quite well again. 

Aug. 5: I have had my bed moved to the window; and 
looking out tonight on the pale moonlight, the far off, misty 
stars, and the light, fleecy clouds scudding across the sky, 
the shadows of the tall trees, ghostlike on the grass, I am 
very happy for my darling Brother has been mentioned for 
distinguished gallantry in the late battles. We are not sur- 
prised for we know him, but it is grateful to have others 
appreciate him. My Brother in his last letter of July 2 says 
nothing of himself but that he was ill from fatigue but would 
rejoin his regiment and go into the fight the next day. The 
paper did not say and we will never know any particulars. 

The Yankees have called off their gunboats and quit the 
river in disgust. 54 Sometimes now we can get the papers. 

Nearly everybody in the country sent us word of My 
Brother's safety. So many papers and messages. All knew 
how anxious Mamma and all of us had been. Brother Walter 
did not learn much by his hard trip to Vicksburg, only a 
confirmation that all was well with them, and he got back 
safely from a perilous trip canoeing down the river. I wonder 
that we could have sent him on such a quest so dangerous. 

The house has been full of company for ten days. At first 
only Mrs. Payne and Julia with transient visitors, but later 
Mary Gustine, Missie Morris, callers most of the time, and 
others to spend the night, the two Lowry boys among the 
others. Mamma remained ill during the first few days and 
Mrs. Payne took her place in bed the last few days of the 
visit. But taken altogether we had a pleasant time. Missie is 

54 According to Gosnell, the move was made because of sickness among 
the Federal forces. "The gunboat fleet," he says, "had 40 per cent 
sick on July 25; and the small army had only 25 per cent ft for duty." 
By July 27 both the upper and lower fleets had gone and Vicksburg was 
freed from the presence of a hostile fleet Gosnell, Guns on the Western 
Waters, 131. 


looking better than I ever saw her but is discontented and 
unhappy. Alary is not as handsome as usual but is more 
talkative, and Julia is the same gay, carefree soul as ever. 
We girls called on Mrs. Savage one afternoon and found her 
in bed, where she had been for some days. Anna also was 
sick. We four had a lovely time at Mrs. Carson's Saturday 
with chess, music, singing, gossip, and fruit. I can still beat 
Missie at chess. It is an effort but I can do it. Joe had just 
returned home. He did not like his position on the staff so 
resigned and tomorrow goes to Greenville to join Dr. Buck- 
ner's company. We are glad he and Brother Coley will be 
together. He came out Saturday evening and stayed until 
after twelve. Both the Mr. Lowrys were here and all the 
girls, making quite a houseful. At half past eleven how 
sleepy most of the crowd were, but the boys would not go 
along home. 

Mr. Curry, who is in very bad health, goes on to Tupelo 
[Miss.] tomorrow to see his son Abe, and we have been busy 
writing letters to send by him. Mrs. Carson and Mrs. Buck- 
ner called and we received the letter telling of My Brother's 
gallantry soon after they came. And of course it had to be 
read to them. Everybody seems glad to hear a good account 
of him. 

The road to Vicksburg is open again. Mr. McRae has been 
there and returned. 

Aug. 19: The excitement of the last two days has been 
the entirely unexpected reappearance of the Yankees on the 
river. They came upon us like a thief in the night. The 
entire Yankee fleet was at Milliken's Bend ready for a fight 
before anyone on the river knew they had left Memphis. It 
does not seem possible for thirty-nine boats to pass five 
hundred miles down the river without being discovered, but 
such was almost literally the case. The people of Lake 
Providence did not know until the next day that a fleet had 
passed by them. And at Vicksburg all were resting in perfect 
security, thinking the enemy far away, until Capt. White 
hurried into the city and told them the boats would soon be 
there. He put spurs to his horse as soon as the first boats 


reached the Bend and made all possible haste to reach Vicks- 
burg. Fortunately, he roused them in time, and the little 
city will hold out as long as possible. 

The surprise at the Bend was complete. The Fair Play 
was at the landing loaded with arms and passengers. All 
were captured. 55 And the 31st La. Regt. was camped there 
and had only time to seize their arms and run away. The 
Yankees followed as far as Tallulah and there burned the 
depot and cars and tore up the track, returning to the Bend 
in time to steal anything they wanted. At dusk they went 
on board their boat and rejoined the fleet at Vicksburg. We 
heard such startling accounts that Mamma at once sent off 
the Negro men with Jimmy to take care of them to Bayou 
Macon, but tonight as all present fear is allayed, she sends for 
them again. 

It was a time to be scared last night, and I, for one, did feel 
frightened with Mr. McRae, Brother Walter, and Jimmy all 
away and Johnny the only man (he is twelve) about the 
place. We have heard such horrible stories of the outrages 
of the Yankees and Negroes that it is an anxious time for 
only women and children. Mr, Al Lowry was here until nine. 
He stopped in on his way back to his company. He was 
satisfied I would not sleep a wink, but at sleepy time, as there 
was no way to escape the inevitable, we all went to bed and 
slept soundly until the safe morning hours. Mamma is not 
at all well. . . . 

We had slight hopes that My Brother would be sent home 
as recruiting officer for his regiment to fill it out from the 
conscript camps. He wished to get the appointment. 

We poor dwellers on this side of the river are not to be 
left entirely to the mercy of the enemy. The cry of distress 
from the river has roused the back country, and they report 
3,000 men crossing the Macon today. So we will have a little 
army of our own something nearer than fifty miles. There 

55 The Federal fleet, accompanied by a detachment of troops, captured 
the Confederate transport Fair Play, heavily loaded with arms and am- 
munition, at Milliken's Bend, August 18. The gunboats then sailed up 
the Yazoo and Sunflower rivers destroying and capturing a great amount 
of military supplies. Battles and Leaders, HE, 558. 


are so many contradictory reports about the gunboats that 
we know not what to believe. There may be ten or forty 
before Vicksburg. 

The Negroes enjoyed their hasty trip to Bayou Macon. 
It will give them something to talk of for a long time. 

The last Yankee raid has quite decided Mrs. Savage, and 
they will go to the Macon Saturday, determined to remain 
until the war is over. They are awfully afraid of the Yankees. 
Four of her Negroes ran away today rather than be moved 
back. It is a plentiful, pleasant home to give up to destruc- 
tion. I was out there a week recently nursing Anna and 
found it such a comfortable, abundant place. They had 
better hold it as long as possible. Mrs. Savage has been many 
years improving it. 

Am reading Bulwer's novels. Nothing but the old stand- 
bys to read. Visitors nearly every day. Mr. Slockton has 
been out twice this week. He is a pleasant gentleman. He is 
teaching at Mr. Neily's. He is well read and well informed. 
He is sweet tempered, gay, and curly headed, light curls. He 
has Philadelphia ideas and old Virginia notions that grew 
with his growth and strengthened with his strength. 

Mr. Valentine was over yesterday. He has joined his 
brother-in-law's company, Capt. Harper's, and is very cheer- 
ful and agreeable. He has the pleasant consciousness of duty 
done and can hold up his head with other men. Mr. Catlin 
has also joined that company. The fear of conscription has 
forced them in. Still, better late than never. I know Mr. 
Valentine would have gone long ago but for his father's 
persuasions. But Mr. Catlin nothing but necessity could 
start him. 

Aug. 25: The strife and din of war is coming fearfully 
near us now. Tonight just as we were sitting down to tea, 
we heard the boom of cannon with the rattling report of 
small arms. Seemed so near. It continued about fifteen 
minutes and we think it must have been at Omega or the 
Bend. It excited and startled us, but now we are only 
anxious to know whether it was a skirmish. 

There are now quite a number of troops on this side of 


the river and in a few days there will be many more with 
Gen. Blanchard at their head. And the Yankees will not be 
so free to land and seize whatever they choose. We hear 
that Gen. Blanchard has ordered all the women and children 
living in his district to leave the river as it is no longer safe 
for them, and he will dispute the landing of the foe at every 
point. 56 The planters generally are moving back to the hills 
as fast as possible. There are two families refugeeing in our 
neighborhood. Mrs. Payne and Julia are at Hardison's and 
Mrs. Newton's family are at Mr. Curry's. Dr. Carson has 
gone to look for a place for himself, and Mamma asked him 
to notice for one suitable for her. Several from that section 
have already gone. 

We should not mind our individual reverses on this side 
of the river when we hear how gloriously our arms are 
triumphing everywhere else. Our entire line is said to be 
advancing, and we read of a succession of small victories. 

Brother Walter returned Saturday. He had been gone 
more than a week. Brother Coley is well again and with his 
regiment. He had been very ill, and like a foolish boy he 
refused to go to any private home to be nursed or take medi- 
cine until Mrs. Blanton, hearing of his sickness, sent him 
word she was not a stranger but a friend of his mother's and 
he must come to her home. He went and she soon nursed 
him back to health. He was quite sick when his regiment 
engaged the gunboats but insisted on going into action. Like 
the high spirited, reckless boy " spoiling for a fight " he is, 
he stood up in one of the rifle pits firing until he grew so 
ill he had to be carried out. He recovered a little and re- 
turned to his post, and when his company was ordered to 
march he had just strength enough to drag himself to a tree, 
where he was found nearly insensible by the men who had 
been sent out to seek him. He is of a nervous temperament 

56 General Albert G. Blanchard had been assigned to command the 
Confederate camps of instruction, with headquarters in Monroe, La 
U. S. War Department, The War of the Rebellion; A Compilation of the 
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, 
D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1880-1901) , Ser. I, XV, 760. Here- 
after this work will be cited as Official Records. 


and suffers so when he is sick that it required heroism to 
hold up his head and fight when suffering so much, as we 
know he was. He is a thin, delicate boy but with an indomi- 
table spirit. He has never been strong since he was poisoned 
by his nurse when a little fellow. He was at Death's door 
then for weeks. 

Dr. Buckner and Joe have both been sick and nursed at 
private houses. Brother Walter amused us telling of the 
fame of the hat sent to Col. Ferguson. He cannot wear it 
but will not give it to anyone who can. He carried it up there 
with him and has made such a boast of it that the hat and its 
history are widely known. Something I surely did not bar- 
gain for. But alas! Alas! The gallant Colonel is said to be 
desperately in love and engaged to Miss Kitty Lee, a Lake 
Washington girl, and an old playmate of mine when we were 
little people. He has been sick at her father's house for three 
weeks, and of course the natural consequence is he has fallen 
in love with the dark-eyed daughter. 

Dr. Jim Smith sent me word please to make a hat for him. 
Did I not remember I was an old sweetheart of his? I dis- 
tinctly remember he is an old detestation of mine. 

Brother Coley is about out of clothes, and Walter went to 
Delhi today to try to get something for him. We can keep 
Brother Walter no longer. He is wild to be off so Mamma 
is having his clothes made. Charley Scott is waiting to go 
with him. It is late and I am frightened and sleepy. 

Aug. 26: The firing last night is explained. Mr. Sebastian 
and several others fired at two gunboats passing Omega. 
The boats returned the compliment by shelling all the coun- 
try around, but no damage was done. Mrs. Nutt was much 
frightened and went to Mrs. Neily's for the night. 

Al and Frank Lowry spent several days with us last week. 
Today we have had a houseful. Early this morning Mamma, 
Sister, and I rode over to Mrs. Curry's. Her house is crowded 
and she has two very sick soldiers there. On our return we 
found Charley Scott and Allen Bridges here to discuss getting 
off with Brother Walter. Soon after, Mr. Valentine walked 
in, then Mr. Stockton and Duncan Gustine, and, after dinner, 


old Mr. Valentine and Al Lowry. He is still here. We had an 
idea of making calls this afternoon ourselves but the ** best 
laid plans. . . ." The morning was pleasant, but entertain- 
ing all a long August day and far into the night is wearying. 
I know Mamma is tired. Mary and Huldah Curry are here 
tonight. They are Sister's company and she does the enter- 
taining. We sent long letters to My Brother today by the 
mail rider. 

Mr. Stockton is just up from Vicksburg and reports all 
the citizens back at home. I wish we could go down for a 
few days. They are expecting the transports with our prison- 
ers aboard to be exchanged. Should so like to see their 

Aug. 29: The spirit of discontent is moving in iny heart 
tonight. Gloomy thoughts will arise. Could I only be con- 
tent to watch the Future as it unfolds instead of trying to 
pierce its mystery and mold it to my will, how much happier 
I would be. But as that is beyond my strength, I can only 
struggle against the evil spirit and exorcise it as best I may. 

Mamma and I spent Wednesday with Mrs. Savage and 
Mrs. Carson. Both houses are in the greatest confusion, 
everything being pulled to pieces and packed up. Mrs. 
Savage and family left today. Mrs. Carson will go in a 
few days. It will be long, I fear, before we, all of us, spend 
another day together. Met Miss Bettie Carter and Mrs. 
Buckner. She and I made a half-arrangement to go to Vicks- 
burg together next week. Col. Buckner is there or near. 
Julia came down and spent the night. Next morning we, 
with Johnny, took a long ride through the woods, the wildest, 
loneliest part of the swamp. Brought home lots of musca- 
dines. Got in at ten and had just time to dress and get cool 
when Dr. Slicer was announced, we thought for a short morn- 
ing call, but we soon discovered to our horror that his in- 
tention was to spend the live-long, long day. We survived 
through it as best we could, and about four he ordered his 
horse. We ordered the carriage and went to call on Mrs. 
Graves. They are strong partisans of Col. Morrison's. Saw 
Mrs. Bell, her sister, and think poorly of her. We stopped 


a minute to see Mrs. Hardison and her little new son. Met 
there Mrs. and Miss Nutt waiting for the gunboats to pass 
down the river. Mrs. Nutt is not yet over the fright of the 
shelling at Omega. 

Dr. Slicer is decidedly one of my antipathies and I shall 
not go to ride with him. Why has he taken to coming here? 
I know he started the report that I would not speak to any 
man who was not a soldier and various like reports that Mr. 
Valentine and Mr. Stockton told me about. 

Julia and Jimmy went to Mrs. Morris's by break of day. 
Addie Curry is quite sick and Julia will offer to help nurse 
her. All the family except Son and Addie have moved to 
Homer [La.]. 

The last gunboat went up the river today but may return 
at once. 

Sept. 23\ Three weeks of silence spent mostly in Vicks- 
burg, a dull profitless visit. Nothing going on there and I 
was glad to get home as quiet as it now is and will be, I sup- 
pose, until the close of the war. So many friends are gone, 
but judging from our many recent victories the close may 
be near. We will conquer a peace. 

The victories of Manassas and Richmond, Ky., were both 
won on the same day. Harper's Ferry, Frederick [Md.], 
Kanawha Valley, and luka [Miss.], and various small suc- 
cesses, all within thirty days, make us very hopeful. 57 

Mrs. William H. Johnstone was staying with Aunt Laura, 
and Dr. Buckner came after a few days with a furlough for 
thirty days, his first for several months. All of them were so 
quiet. Aunt Laura was happy just to sit and look at Dr. 
Buckner, Mrs. Johnstone had little to say, and Dr. Buckner 
rarely talks at any time and this was not one of the times. I 
longed for home it was so deadly dull but I could not get 
away. Most of our acquaintances are still out of town, and 
though the streets were crowded with soldiers I knew none of 

57 Bull Run (Second Manassas), Va., August 30; Richmond, Ky., 
August 30; Frederick, Md., September 12; Harper's Ferry, Va., Septem- 
ber 12-15; and luka, Miss., September 19-20, 1862. 


them. The old familiar faces are away fighting in Virginia 
and Tennessee and strangers are defending their city. 

Our exchanged prisoners to the number of 1,500 arrived 
while I was there, and the place was crowded with them. 5S 
There were no adequate preparations to provide for them, 
and many of them had to beg the citizens for something to 
eat. So happy as they all looked, as merry and free as un- 
caged birds, and all eager to begin the fight again. The 
ladies of Memphis gave them a heartfelt and enthusiastic 
welcome, kisses as plentiful as blackberries, but there was 
nothing of that kind in Vicksburg. Met a Lt. Polk of Ten- 
nessee, who gave an interesting and anecdotal account of his 
imprisonment. Aunt Laura and Mrs. Johnstone spent the 
summer at the Bowman House at Jackson and had many 
amusing experiences. Cousin Jenny and Titia were at Canton 
[Miss.]. Aunt Laura saw them and is expecting them on a 
visit. Looked for them all the time I was there. I wanted to 
see them so much. 

Saw Mr. [Horace] Miller several times. He at last has a 
regiment, the 20th Miss. He was taken prisoner at Donelson. 

Sept. 24' The first of the fall rains. How I dread this 
winter. I shudder in anticipation: The long rains, the impas- 
sable roads, no books, no papers, few letters, our friends 
nearly all away, and most of our loved ones in the army. 
Awful prospect. But thinking of it will make it no better and 
" to each day its burden." 

Brother Walter goes on Monday to join Dr. Buckner's 
company in Bolivar County [Miss.] and all are busy prepar- 
ing him for the start. The house will be desolate indeed when 
he is really gone, following in the perilous paths his brothers 
are treading before him. If he would only wait until he is 
eighteen or until there is another requisition for troops, but 
" No, no, he cannot wait. The war might be over before he 
gets there, and he would feel disgraced forever if he had not 

58 Both sides were accumulating great numbers of prisoners; conse- 
quently an arrangement had been made in July, 1862, to exchange 
prisoners on an even basis. Surplus prisoners were released under parole, 
provided they would not again take up arms. 


fought in the good Cause." So runs his logic. There are so 
many victories he fears even now peace may be proclaimed 
before he is enrolled as a soldier fighting with his brothers. 
Monday there were assembled here Charley Scott, Polk Bass, 
Ben Clarkson, and Brother Walter, all four boys leaving for 
the army in the next few days. Also Mrs. Carson, Mrs. 
McRae, Will Clarkson, and Theresa and Mollie Bass were 
here. Polk Bass is home on furlough. Charley Scott will go 
with him to Savannah to join the Madison Infantry. Ben 
Clarkson joins with Brother Walter. 

Mamma is suffering much with her arm but is busy knit- 
ting socks for Brother Walter and Coley. I am knitting 
gloves as I can do it well and rapidly now. Nothing like 
sticking to a thing to learn it. We are again in suspense 
about My Brother. Had just had a letter written after 
Manassas just before they crossed the Potomac into Mary- 
land. Now there is news of a hard- won victory at Frederick 
and his division hotly engaged, and that is all. 

I heard while in Vicksburg of the death of a cousin, Ruby 
Davis. She died on the plantation on the Yazoo, leaving a 
baby a few days old. Only her mother was with her. Her 
husband, who is in the army, arrived just as they were 
lowering her body in the grave. They had been married only 
a year or so. Her people are in New Orleans. Another cousin 
too is dead. Elam Ragan is dead on the field of battle, falling 
shot through the heart just as he mounted one of the enemy's 
batteries shouting, " Hurrah! Come on, boys, it is ours." 
Peaceful be the rest of the gallant boyish heart that knew no 
fear. With him life's battle was soon over, 

A letter from Mrs. Rossman tells of the death of her young 
brother, Eugene Selser, another boyish soldier offering up 
his life, a sacrifice to his country. Mrs. Rossman says she 
hears regularly from My Brother. I hope Eugenia does not. 

Sept. 80: A telegram from My Brother to Mamma says 
he is slightly wounded in the leg, wounded in the battle of 
Sharpsburg, Md., one of the most hotly contested battles of 
the campaign. Tom Manlove was also slightly wounded in 
the arm in the same fight. If we do not hear soon again, 


Brother Walter will go to Vicksburg for further news. May- 
be now My Brother can come home to recuperate for a little 
while. He has been marching and fighting almost constantly 
since the first of July. Letters from Uncle Bo. He is in excel- 
lent health and spirits and his regiment has not been in any 
of the late battles. Brother Walter will not go to his com- 
pany until we hear further from My Brother. 

Sister has been quite sick for several days. Mrs. Carson, 
Anna, Miss Bettie, and the girls took dinner. Had a talka- 
tive, pleasant time. Mrs. Savage is back home again. She 
says now she will stay till driven off by Yankees or overflow. 

Our usual round of visiting and visitors, now that Mrs. 
Carson and Mrs. Savage are back. We went to Mrs. Curry's 
to call on Mrs. Frank Blunt from Hinds County. She told 
us Aunt Rebeckah Jones, Ruby's mother, died on the planta- 
tion a few days after Ruby with only the servants and the 
doctor with her. All her life she had been so lapped around 
with love and care. Tragedy after tragedy. 

Duncan Gustine came to say good-bye. He was to leave 
yesterday to join the Madison Infantry at Savannah. Julia 
has been here for several days. She looks wretched from sick- 
ness. Mr. Valentine has also been over. He is now 3rd lieu- 
tenant in Capt. Harper's company and is much pleased at 
his election. 

Brother Walter saw both Cousin Titia and Jenny with 
Aunt Laura. Had I stayed a week longer I would have seen 
them. They have treated us really badly neither coming nor 
writing, and we so want to see them. Mamma said she 
missed me greatly and was so glad to get me home. 

Today we actually had cake, a most rare occurrence, due 
to Mrs. Hardison's sending us a little homemade flour. But 
for them, we might forget the taste of wheaten bread, and 
Aunt Laura is using it lavishly at $50 a barrel. 

Oct. 1: The most important fact is Lincoln's proclama- 
tion freeing all slaves held by rebel masters after January 
I. 59 I wonder what will be the result of this diabolical move. 

59 The reference is to Lincoln's preliminary Emancipation Proclama- 
tion, issued on September 22, 1862, to take effect January 1, 1863. 


Surely not as bad for us as they intend it to be. I think 
there is little chance of a happy hereafter for President 
Lincoln. A thousand years of repentance would be but brief 
time to wipe out his sins against the South. How can he 
ever sleep with the shades of the thousands he has consigned 
to a bloody death darkening his soul? 

Took two rides today, read some silly stories in Gleason's 
Pictorial G0 borrowed from Mrs. Fontaine, and entertained 
Mr. McGee during a lengthy call. 

My Brother and Jimmy's birthday. 

Oct. 2: We see from the Whig that Lt. Floyd was killed 
at Sharpsburg. My Brother, I know, is sorry. I saw him last 
spring in Vicksburg. My good wishes for his safe return were 
fruitless. He was desperately wounded in the battles before 
Richmond, but recovered only in time to march to meet his 
death in Maryland. In Kentucky some hearts are aching for 
him. He was a frank, pleasant comrade and friend. 

There is great disappointment over Maryland. It was 
thought there would be a great uprising of the people as soon 
as the Stars and Bars should wave across the Potomac, but 
nothing of the kind. There has been but little enthusiasm 
and few recruits. Well, let the Old Bay State go, if her 
people had rather be slaves in the Union than masters in the 
Confederacy. They must abide by their choice. 

The gunboats are expected down now any day to renew 
the attack on Vicksburg, but if we get Cincinnati and Louis- 
ville as we are threatening to do now, the gunboats will be 
needed in other waters. 

Eliza, Courtney's other twin, died suddenly yesterday, the 
first death for some time. Brother Walter has been ill with 
cold. It is fortunate that he had not started off. 

Oct. 3: My fingers have been busy with unaccustomed 
work today, the work of olden times, learning to weave. 
Mamma is having a loom made to weave cloth for the Ne- 
groes, and Jimmy and I are to make the " harness." Mr. 
Curry came over early this morning on purpose to teach us. 

60 A magazine published in Boston, beginning in 1859. 


He said he knew I could soon learn it. To keep my reputa- 
tion for aptness, I commenced work at once under his tute- 
lage, and as it takes two to work it Jimmy learned also. Now 
we progress swimmingly, though it will take several days to 
finish it. It is like going back to the days of the Revolution 
to see the planters all setting up their looms and the ladies 
discussing the making of homespun dresses, the best dyes, 
and " cuts " of thread, though yet awhile I think a homespun 
dress would be more difficult to get than a silk. Silk of the 
poorest kind is now $500 [?] a yard C1 and walking shoes $15 
a pair and difficult to get at that. Everything has gone up in 
the same ratio. We expect to suffer for clothes this winter. 
We hear of a gentleman oSering $50 for a pair of boots and 
then waiting for weeks to get them made. Unless we capture 
some Northern city well stocked, there will soon be no dry 
goods in the Confederacy. The ladies are raising a cry for 
calicoes and silks that echoes from the Potomac to the Gulf. 62 
Mrs. Newton and family have left Sirs. Curry *s and are 
now keeping the tavern in Tallulah, and there are crowds 
of soldiers stopping there all the time. 

Oct. 5: There will be no preaching until Mr. Holbury 
regains his health, and so we have been busy writing letters 
most of the day, some to Other Pa and Uncle Johnny, whom 
we have not heard from for months. The letters will go by 
Mr. Bass. Long ones to My Brother and Uncle Bo will be 
carried to Vicksburg by Mr. McRae when he carries his wife 
down tomorrow. She goes to Mississippi to remain with her 
people, but Mr. McRae will remain here. We send in the 
wagon a little sugar cane for Mrs. Johnson. She has never 
seen any. 

Uncle Tom is in trouble today. He has succeeded in cheat- 
ing a lot of the Negroes out of $20 in a chicken trade, and 
they are anything but pleased. 

61 The figure Is not completely legible. New ladies* hats and bonnets 
usually sold for $500. Massey, Ersatz in the Confederacy, 96. 

62 " Woman's fondness for fashionable clothes was never absent from 
the South during the war," says Miss Massey. "As one woman said, 
her love for new fashions and pretty clothes was merely * scotched . . . 
not killed.'" Ibid., 92. 


Am reading The Pillar of Fire 63 and like it exceedingly. 
Will keep it for Sunday reading. 

Oct. 6: We were out to see Mrs. Carson and Mrs. Savage. 
They are expecting the Yankees all the time. Mrs. Carson 
feels that they are being imposed on by soldiers and travel- 
ers. She says they are nearly eaten out of house and home, 
and she gave us her bill of fare. It certainly is a great falling 
off from the past abundance. There are always five or six 
soldiers there. She still has flour for lightbread, but it is 
saved for the sick soldiers. They are exceedingly kind and 
helpful to all wearing the uniform. Mrs. Carson is going 
into raptures over Col. Pargoud. 64 He has large plantations 
near Monroe, is young and splendid looking, was educated in 
France, has elegant manners, and is a Colonel in full cavalry 
uniform, the finest to be had ivory stirrups, silver trap- 
pings, and superb horses. What more could one have? May 
it be given to me to meet this paragon before some other girl 
snatches hi up. Capt. Harper's company is in his regiment. 

We saw the paper of the fourth. It advocates raising 
the Black Flag in retaliation for Lincoln's emancipation 

Such a war is too horrible to think of. We hear that My 
Brother is perfectly well and has never been wounded. Am 
reading The Newcomes G5 and like it very much in spite of 
Dr. Carson's prophesies to the contrary. He offers me a 
leather medal (as one of the most expensive materials now 
known to us) if I succeeded in reading it through. Dr. Car- 
son does not like Thackeray. Strange too, as he is an inveter- 
ate novel reader. I was so surprised when I learned that 
Dr. Carson liked novels. He gives one the impression of far 
too much mind and thoughtfulness to care for light reading. 
When I meet a young man strongly resembling Dr. Carson, 

63 The Pillar of Fire; or, Israel in Bondage (1865) was the first of a 
trilogy of Biblical novels by Rev. Joseph Holt Ingraham. Library of 
Southern Literature^ VI, 2595. 

6 ^Probably J. Frank Pargoud, member of a prominent Ouachita Parish 
family. Williamson, Northeast Louisiana, 142. 

65 A novel by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-63), published 
serially 1853-55. 


I shall surely lose my heart to him. He is one of nature's 

Oct. 10: A letter from Uncle Bo dated a month back just 
as his division was crossing into Maryland. He writes jubi- 
lantly, so glad to be advancing into the enemy's country. 
The letter is filled with praise of My Brother. How fond and 
proud he is of " Will," and how unselfish. How dreadfully 
disappointed the army and officials are that Maryland did 
not rally to their support when once they were on her soil. 

Now after all those bloody battles with no good result to 
follow, our whole army has recrossed the Potomac. Our 
defeat at Corinth is rumored. We are anxious for full par- 
ticulars. Reinforcements from Vicksburg have been sent on. 

Mrs. Carson came out with a package of letters just re- 
ceived from Joe. All were well then, and she and Mamma 
discussed Joe and Brother Coley's clothes to their satisfac- 
tion. Mrs. Payne is with us. Julia is still with Carrie Lowry. 

Oct. 24'- Mamma and I went down to Vicksburg ten days 
ago with Brother Walter to see him that far on his way to 
the war. We hoped also to see Brother Coley, having heard 
his regiment had been ordered to Vicksburg, but we were 
disappointed. The regiment marched through the county to 
Panola County. We do not know their destination. 

We found Aunt Laura's house full, Aunt Sarah and the 
children there on a visit. Mamma and I were squeezed in, 
and Brother Walter and Ben Clarkson went to the hotel. Dr. 
Buckner was quite sick and the boys could not get off until 
Saturday. Suppose they got off that day. Mamma went 
home Wednesday and I left on Thursday for a visit to Annie 
Amis. While we were at dinner Tuesday, a message came to 
Aunt Laura from Mrs. Amis saying that the hotel was so 
crowded she could not get a room and would Aunt Laura 
take her in for a day or so. Aunt Laura looked " No," a great 
big " No," for her house was packed something like sardines 
in a box. But we begged her to take them in anyway. Mrs. 
Johnstone and I agreed to find a place to sleep. With that 
condition, she agreed and a message of welcome was sent 


Mrs. Amis. After dinner, we went over to Mrs. Butt's house, 
next door, and prevailed on the woman in charge the family 
are refugeeing to let some of us occupy one of the rooms 
that night. She at last consented and Mrs. Johnstone and I 
spent the night there. Mrs. Amis never knew that two of 
Aunt Laura's guests had borrowed a sleeping place. 

Mr. Templeton called that evening and stayed until eleven. 
I promised to knit a pair of gloves for him. I have about all 
on hand I can " do jestice to." Annie Amis has been teasing 
me about him ever since. Mrs. Amis begged me to pay them 
a visit, and as Annie and I had seen nothing of each other 
for so long, I decided to go home with them. Annie has been 
off at school for several years. 

Mamma went home Wednesday alone in the carriage. 
That afternoon Aunt Sarah, Mrs. Johnstone, Annie, and I, 
accompanied by Brother Walter on horseback, took a ride, 
going out to Allen's gardens. We saw several batteries. Later 
we walked around to the jail to see the Yankee prisoners, 
who crowded around the gate watching the passersby . Thurs- 
day morning we had an exciting race after a Louisiana regi- 
ment of infantry. At last we caught up with them and had 
the pleasure of seeing them reviewed by Gen. Smith. 

Mrs. Amis., Annie, and I crossed the river that evening on 
our way to Fortune's Fork, their home. 66 I bade Brother 
Walter and Ben good-bye on the ferry. Brother Walter was 
so distressed. My dear little brother, none of us thought he 
would feel so deeply about leaving home. He felt the parting 
more than either of the other boys. He could hardly speak to 
Mamma in all the time we were in Vicksburg without his 
voice quivering and his eyes filling with tears. It made us 
cry only to look at him. Poor little fellow, it is his first part- 
ing from home and going among strangers, and he feels so 
lonely and cutadrift from us all. May our Heavenly Father 
bless and keep him in the hours of danger and bring him 
safe home to us at last. 

We reached Fortune's Fork by 3 o'clock. Such a splendid 

4 66 Fortune's Fork was on Roundaway Bayou a few miles below 
Richmond, La. 


two-story house so complete in all its appointments and a 
tribe of well-drilled servants, headed by Aunt Rebeca and 
Lou and Uncle John. I spent a pleasant week, generally 
just Annie and I. She is a madcap and incessant talker and 
in for any kind of fun. We talked and read and drove out in 
the buggy with " Old Ball/ 5 sometimes twice a day, as fast 
as " Old Ball " could race. Annie was the driver and a most 
reckless one. I was sure we would come to grief some way, 
but thanks to the good roads and an over-looking Providence 
we escaped. In the character of soldiers seeking a night's 
lodging we were quite successful. It was a time of wild non- 
sense and idleness. There was not a man anywhere around. 
All in the army but Mr. Lucas, a widower, who lives on the 
next place, but we only saw him once. I fancy he is not 
much of a lady's man or soldier. 

Mrs. Amis' place is the frontier now, with no one between 
her and DeSoto. The entire country from Omega to Vicks- 
burg is deserted and many of the back places also. There 
is a constant stream of men passing, and Mrs. Amis is dread- 
fully worried by men begging to stay all night and for meals. 
It is a charming place to visit. Annie has changed less in 
growing up than any girl I ever saw. She is the same girl 
she was ten years ago, only grown up and not the least 
affected, and as a child she was a bundle of it. She was at 
school in Philadelphia for several years and last in New 
Orleans for a few months. She plays beautifully on the piano, 
with such ease I can listen by the hour. She plays on the 
harp, speaks French well, knows some Latin and Spanish, 
and is fond of reading, though there was little reading she 
would allow either of us while together. And they have a 
good library which was very tempting. She is a pronounced 
blonde. We were both glad to be together again as we were 
when little children, after our long separation at different 

Oct. 25: Mrs. Payne went back to Mrs. Hardison's today 
and Emily Norris is staying with us until Mrs. Savage gets 
back from the Bayou. Found Mrs. Carson here when I got 
back. Mrs. Amis sent me home with Lou in the carriage for 


protection. We passed several squads of soldiers on picket 
duty, but they let us through without a pass. We were 
evidently not suspicious characters. 

There is so much to be done now that I am at home. I 
hardly know where to commence three pairs of gloves and 
a necktie to be knit, three dresses to make, and all my clothes 
to be mended. Things are certainly mended as long as 
possible now. As Mr. Stenckrath used to say, " Be kind to 
my old shirts, Emma " they just had to last. 

Oct. 29: Saturday was a day of general upheaval hav- 
ing the carpets put down and general renovating. A cold 
raw day. When in the height of the discomfort, Mrs. Payne, 
Julia, and Miss Carrie Lowry were announced. Theirs was a 
cold welcome at first as there was not a good fire in the house, 
but Webster soon had one blazing in the parlor and dining 
room. They stayed until Monday and Julia and Mrs. Payne 
returned with Carrie. Carrie is a very talkative, nice girl 
with only one good feature in her face, splendid grey eyes. 
She escapes being ugly. She has pretty teeth and glossy 
black hair but a most unbecoming mouth and nose. Am sure 
we would like her much on closer acquaintance. She is a 
most industrious, capable girl. 

Jimmy went to Mississippi today to get leather to make 
shoes for the Negroes. Should he fail to get it, the Negroes 
will certainly suffer in the cold. Mamma has discharged Mr. 
McRae and a Mr. Blakely is overseeing. Mr. McRae proved 
to be utterly destitute of principle. The Negroes are busy 
housing the potatoes and goober peas [peanuts] and priming 
the sugar cane. We shall have some cane should My Brother 
come now. 

I was up late last night writing letters to all our soldiers 
and to Aunt Laura, thanking her for the loan of some of 
her clothes when I went to Annie's as I had carried very 
little to Vicksburg for a three-day stay. Aunt Laura always 
has such quantities of everything necessary. 

Mrs. Alexander has been here all day and tonight is kindly 
helping me to make another harness. The one Jimmy and I 


made is entirely too fine. We will finish this one tomorrow 
and Mrs. Alexander will start the loom. 

Anna Dobbs came out for Emily, and Mr. Curry, Mr. 
Hardison, and Dr. Bowman paid us a call. 

Oct. 31: Mamma has been busy for the last two days 
superintending the weaving which is at last underway. And 
what a slow process it is to be sure. Spent today at Mrs. 
Savage's and brought the little girls out to stay with Sister 
until Mr. Savage returns from another visit to the Bayou. 
Mamma got a quantity of shrubbery, and she will help 
Uncle Hoccles set it out half the day tomorrow. I started 
Mr. Templeton's gloves today. Time alone can tell when 
they will be finished. My comforter promises to be prettier 
than Anna's shawl, but chacun a son gout. 

Jimmy came back this evening and to Mamma's agreeable 
surprise succeeded in getting the leather. Jimmy is develop- 
ing into a " cute G7 little trader," now that he is the only man 
about the house and must be Mamma's right hand. 

Aunt Laura sent word by Jimmy that she will come up on 
the tenth of November to stay all winter, if Mamma will 
send for her. Dr. Buckner has just rejoined his company 
and she is very sad. We will be delighted to have her, but I 
fear the swamp in winter will weary her dreadfully. And 
then she cannot hear so regularly from Dr. Buckner. But 
she would be fearfully lonely with only Beverly and herself 
in the house all winter. Here it is seldom lonely. And dear 
little Beverly will be a treasure in the house, and she will 
so enjoy the freedom of the country. 

We have a number of books on hand. All borrowed but 
too busy to read just now. 

Nov. 7: How quickly this week has slipped away. Com- 
pany and busy hands make the time fly. Anna came out in 
the middle of the week, sent the little girls and remained 
until Mrs. Savage came, spent the day and carried her home. 
After they left, Johnny and I were sitting cosily by the parlor 
fire. I had been practicing and he was knitting on a glove 

67 A shortening of acute. 


when in came Mary Richards and Mollie Hunt, an old 
schoolmate. I was so surprised I hardly knew her at first, 
but the sound of her voice recalled old school times. 

Mollie and her father are on their way from Arkansas to 
Vicksburg. They had supper at Mrs. Curry's and came out 
to get me to spend the night with Mollie. Mamma approved 
of the plan and I was glad of a chance for a good chat with 
Mollie. I went back with them and had a pleasant visit in 
spite of that hateful Mr. Smith. " Don't be bashful, Kate 
do play I ain't a going to court ye " was one of his trying 
speeches, with a grin and a leer that made me really wish 
him dumb. What a true Yankee he is in everything, even the 
set of his coat. 

Mollie gave me a full and particular account of her various 
love affairs, about like the play of Hamlet with Hamlet left 
out. She would not tell me the names of any of her lovers. 
She must have had scores. She says she has four on hand 
now, all waiting in trembling apprehension of yes or no. 
She thinks she will say no to all. What a garment of 
comfort self-satisfaction is. Oh, for a nice large cloak of self- 

Annie Amis with Mary and Lou Dancy did not come on 
Thursday as they promised. And I had all the candy and 
marmalade agreed on awaiting them. The candy found will- 
ing little mouths, and the marmalade is carefully put away 
awaiting future reference. Emily, the boys, and I had fre- 
quent rides. Wonka is a most charming horse, as easy as a 
cradle and swift as the wind. 

We all went with Mamma to the camp at Winn Forest, 
but as they were not drilling we did not stop. Anna, the 
boys, and I rode again to the camp and home in a gale of 
cold wind that made us cry for the poor soldier boys in their 
open tents. We nestle closer in our warm blankets as we 
think in the night how cold they must be. 

An old letter from My Brother begging Mamma to secure 
a place in the back country and move to it. He says, if 
possible, he will get a furlough home in the winter. I could 
shake Tom Manlove for coming home this time instead of 


letting My Brother have the chance. Brother Coley and 
Brother Walter and their mess are getting along in real jolly 
style. Brother Walter feels all right now that he is with 
his brother. 

Galveston has fallen, a disgrace to us for fortifying it so 
badly. 68 The enemy are redoubling their exertions at every 
point and are awaiting a rise in the river to make an over- 
whelming attack on Vicksburg. In God alone is our trust. 

Nov. 10: Mamma went to Vicksburg today and I am 
left at home as commander-in-chief with Little Sister and 
the two boys, Johnny and Jimmy, as aides. We are getting 
on bravely today, pickle making, weaving, etc., etc. I think 
I should like keeping house if I were forty years old and had 
no one to interfere, but now it is horrid work, vanity and 
vexation of spirits. 

Jimmy is away tonight sitting up with Mr. McRae who 
is not expected to live through the night. And his wife is not 
here to comfort him. 

Ah, the lovely autumn weather. One should be out in it 
riding or walking most of the day. If Annie had only come, 
we could have had a charming time riding and driving in the 
soft, hazy, dreamy days. 

Mamma and I went out to Mrs. Henderson's Saturday 
morning to see Mrs. Gustine, who is staying there now. She 
has been very ill and is still unable to be up. Mary and I 
had a gay talk discussing Col. Pargoud. We have all our 
traps set and baited should he venture out here again. We 
made an agreement so that no feeling of jealousy should mar 
our friendship. Should I trap the irresistible Colonel, she is 
to be invited to spend a month at his " palace." Should she 
be the successful trapper, I am to have a standing invitation 
to " his marble halls/' Poor Colonel. His cheeks must burn 
the way the girls are discussing his fancied perfections 
fancied, for not a girl of us has ever seen him. He is our 
standing joke. We also agreed on Mr. Valentine's cool assur- 
ance in sending word to all the girls he knows to knit him 

68 Galveston was captured by the Federal Navy October 10, 1862. 


everything they can think of. He wants a complete outfit 
from each one. He did have the grace to ask Mary to make 
the things, and she has started on the article the easiest to 
make, a needle book. But if he does not soon repeat his call, 
Mary will donate that to some more deserving youth. None 
of us will do anything for him just now. He needs a little 
judicious snubbing. He holds a lady's favors too lightly. In 
the early days I used to think he would make quite an ideal 
lover, but no indeed, not now that I know him better. He 
would run me crazy and ruin my temper in a week. He is 
very argumentative and I feel like contradicting him always. 
We do not think alike on any subject. Neither Anna nor 
Julia like him at all, and Mary knows him only slightly. 

Mr. McRae was nursing Ashburn on his death bed a year 
ago tonight, and now he too is sinking into the cold arms of 
Death. In the presence of Death, we feel at its fullest God's 
terrible power. 

Nov. 16: Since writing last, Jimmy has been violently ill 
with pneumonia. He is somewhat better but not relieved 
and is suffering intensely with a deep blister. 69 He has been 
so good and patient. Mamma returned from Vicksburg 
Wednesday night, and Jimmy was taken with a chill that 
night and by twelve next day was so ill Mamma thought 
he would die. She was all alone, except Sister, and could not 
get a doctor until twelve that night when Drs. Devine and 
Jackson both came. They have been attending him ever 
since. Johnny and I had gone to Vicksburg for me to attend 
a large party, given by Capt. and Mrs. Manlove, and there 
is where I was, dancing and amusing myself, while my poor 
little brother was suffering so. How thankful we were that 
Mamma had gotten home before he was taken sick. Aunt 
Laura and Beverly came up the next day with us and Other 
Pa was here when we got back. We were so glad to see him. 
He is such a help with Jimmy, for he knows so much about 

69 It was a common medical practice in treating pneumonia, to blister 
the patient on the back with some hot application in order to relieve 
the congestion in the lungs. 


Aunt Laura will slay until spring, maybe until the war is 
over. Mamma sent for Aunt Laura's house servants and 
baggage today for the second time. The ferry is so crowded 
it is almost impossible to get anything across, and we fear it 
will be difficult to get Aunt Laura's things even this time of 
sending. Other Pa is looking well but for his long, snow- 
white beard. It makes him look so much older. Uncle Johnny 
has a little daughter two months old named Sarah Louisa 
for her two grandmothers. He seems quite proud of the 
little scrap. Jimmy has held quite a levee while being ill. 

Nov. 30: Jimmy has been so ill that we have had no time 
to think of anything else. Both Dr. Jackson and Dr. Devine 
had given him up and stopped all remedies, and Mamma had 
thought him dying for a day and night. He was cold to his 
knees and so blind that he could not see to the foot of the bed. 
We were all standing around him expecting death at any 
minute when Dr. Meux came in. Mamma had sent for him 
some days before, but he had been away. He examined 
Jimmy and said he thought he had one chance for recovery, 
but Mamma said no it was too late. She would not have him 
tortured any more. He was past the power of medicine. But 
Other Pa reasoned with her, told her if there was the slightest 
chance, it must be taken, and told Dr. Meux to take charge 
of the case and do all possible to save him. The Doctor 
recommended giving him brandy in eggnog every thirty 
minutes and nourishment every fifteen minutes. He put 
something on the raw angry blister to allay the burning, 
itching sensation that had tortured him so. And at night he 
tried as a last resort to relieve the lungs by burning him 
under the shoulder blades with turpentine and a hot iron. A 
flannel was wet with the turpentine, laid on him, and ironed. 
It was exquisitely painful, and they would not let Mamma 
be in the room. When she returned after it was over, Jimmy 
was gasping for breath and could just mutter, " They have 
nearly killed me, Mamma. Don't leave me any more/' As 
soon as the pain subsided he seemed a little better. He had 
not slept for eleven nights, and the Doctor said that that 
was enough to kill him without the disease. The Doctor did 


all he could to ease the pain of the blisters and gave him 
large doses of Battley's [?] sedative, and towards morning we 
had the pleasure of seeing him fall into a light sleep. 

Since then, he has slowly improved, but is not yet quite 
out of danger. He is nearly covered with the most painful 
risings. Dr. Meux says it is from the circulation being so 
nearly stopped for so long. Under his shoulder blades the 
risings are dreadful, but Dr. Meux says he thinks they will 
save him from danger of going into consumption. They re- 
lieve the lungs. At the worst, Jimmy was fully conscious of 
his condition, but he felt no fear, only regrets that he should 
die without striking one blow for his Country. 

No one ever faced Death more calmly and bravely and 
how beautifully he talked of his trust in God and the love 
of our Saviour. He felt no fear, and his faith in God's good- 
ness and mercy was unswerving. 

Since he has been a little better, he said, " Mamma, when 
I thought I was dying, I was not afraid, for I thought of 
God's promises and they comforted me." He was as simple 
minded and affectionate as a little child, and so devoted to 
Mamma that he could not bear for her to leave him for an 
hour. And he is restless and uneasy now whenever she is out 
of the room. Mamma has not undressed and gone regularly 
to bed since Jimmy was taken sick. She lies down by him, 
and if he cannot sleep he will not let her. He always touches 
her as soon as he wakes, and of course it wakes her at once. 
We feared her health would give way under the strain, but 
she has been mercifully strengthened. God's goodness and 
mercy seem so plain to us now. He has spared Jimmy to our 
prayers when all hope seemed vain. May Jimmy be as well 
prepared when Death comes to him at last as he was when 
Death seemed standing at his bedside. 

Dr. Meux was certainly the instrument in God's hand to 
save Jimmy's life. We are so grateful to him. He stayed 
with him several days and nights without leaving. Now we 
feel that Dr. Meux is a friend of the family. He has spent 
several nights with us, " Not as a physician, Madam," he 
said, " but as a friend." Speaking of Jimmy, the day after 


he first came he said, a I could not let that splendid young 
fellow die without trying to save him." 

Events have crowded each other in the last two weeks. 
My Brother's promotion to major has given us great pleasure. 
After reading the announcement in the paper, we could talk 
of nothing else that night. How handsome he must look in 
his new uniform with the stars glittering on his collar. I 
know Mrs. Manlove is provoked. She was so sure Tom would 
be made major that she told Mamma he was already lieu- 
tenant colonel. She has been crowing over me every time we 
met this summer: " Well, Kate, maybe your brother is 
captain of the company. Now you know, my Tom has been 
promoted to major or colonel." Such was her usual greeting. 

Wrote a letter of ten pages to My Brother today, telling 
him of Jimmy and all the plantation and country news. Hope 
he will take time to read it. 

Four gunboats are again in these waters, steaming up and 
down between Omega and Young's Point. A squad came 
off once at the Bend. They were fired on and the command- 
ing officer was killed. They retreated to their boats and 
have not landed since. There are several hundred men under 
Col. Pargoud following them up and down the river. When 
we first heard of the fleet at the Bend, we were much wrought 
up. Webster, Will, and Aunt Laura's dining room servant, 
William, with a wagonload of furniture, a barrel of flour, 
and a six mule team were all on the road somewhere be- 
tween here and Vicksburg. We were certain they would be 
captured or the men would desert to the gunboats. But that 
night they came driving up, feeling that they had made a 
most hairbreadth escape. . . . 

Dec. 3: Have been busy for two days writing letters and 
notes. A letter of six pages to Uncle Bo giving general home 
news. . . . One to Mrs. Johnstone reproaching her for not let- 
ting Cousin Jenny send me one of her dresses to make into an 
over-shirt for Mr. Valentine. Also, notes and letters to the 
four quarters of the globe. All are to be sent by Jessy, who 
runs the blockade to Vicksburg tomorrow to get the new 
carriage springs and a $40 gallon of brandy, an awful price, 


but Jimmy must have it. He is improving slowly, slowly. 
He is not yet able to sit up and sleeps no better. He has 
not slept now for forty-eight hours and is very restless. 

Dr. Meux has been staying with us for several days " as 
a friend, my dear lady." He is an odd, original man, very 
amusing and quite intelligent. Low and pudgy, he wears a 
sunburned wig and has a most infectious laugh. He does not 
spare your blushes and will discuss anything. This burden 
of entertaining him falls on me. He makes it easy by reading 
aloud from the poets, and he reads well. 

We had another character to take dinner with us this week. 
Mr. Wylie, the talking man. When we met him at the Wells, 
he was known by the girls as " Major Jones." 70 He talks 
so incessantly that he can hardly spare time to eat. 

Cousin Jenny gets married tomorrow in the church at 
Canton to a Dr. Saunders of that place. She wrote to Aunt 
Laura saying she wished to be married at her home, but 
when the letter came Aunt Laura had broken up housekeep- 
ing and was here with us. A day or two after the letter, 
Cousin Jenny and Mrs. Johnstone came driving up in Capt. 
Johnstone's ambulance. 71 It was when Jimmy was at his 
worst, and they only stayed all night. Mamma begged 
Cousin Jenny to come here to be married and Aunt Laura 
wished her to do it. But she decided to stay in Canton. She 
wanted me to be bridesmaid, but under the circumstances it 
was impossible. I could not leave Jimmy, and there are too 
many Yankees between here and Canton to make it safe 
to leave home. 

Neither her father nor sister will be present. They are 
both away. It is decidedly Cousin Jenny's own wedding. She 
has selected her trousseau and made all arrangements for 
herself. It seems strange in her since she has always been 
of such a timid, yielding nature. We have all taken up a 

70 Major Jones is the back country planter who is the central character 
of William Tappan Thompson's (1812-82) humorous Major Jones's 
Courtship (1844) in which the militia major of " Pineville," Ga., de- 
scribes at length his difficulties in courting and marrying a Georgia belle. 

71 A four-wheel vehicle usually used for hauling the sick and wounded 
but which became an all-purpose vehicle in the Confederacy. 


prejudice against Dr. Saunders and think she is doing a bad 
thing for herself. Our judgement, made without seeing the 
man, is based on his weak, sentimental-looking picture and 
the lackadaisical letter he wrote Aunt Laura asking her con- 
sent to the marriage. Poor dear girl. May she be happier 
than we all think she will be. 

Mr. Valentine was over a few days ago. We are friends 
again, and I have knitted gloves for him and am embroider- 
ing a tobacco bag at Mamma's earnest solicitation. He does 
not chew or smoke, and so he can only use it as a trophy. 
He aroused Mamma's sympathy by complaining of the way 
the girls have all treated him. They have not given him a 
thing. He begged me so hard to make something for him that 
I relented and am now on a high hunt for something suitable 
to make a fancy over-shirt. Cousin Jenny promised me a 
dress, but Mrs. Johns tone so represented to her that Mr. 
Valentine was very wealthy and could get what he needed 
that Cousin Jenny kept the dress. And I have not a thing 
that will do. We have cut up every silk and wool thing we 
have for the different boys. I wrote a note of reproach to 
Mrs. Johnstone and begged her to make the amende honor- 
able by sacrificing one of her dresses for a poor shirtless 
Confederate. She promises to do the best she can and give 
me the first dress she wears out. That will not be until the 
end of the war. No one's dresses are ever considered worn 
out these days as long as they can hold together. 

Mrs. Carson spent several days and nights with us last 
week. She is staying at Monticello until Dr. Carson gets 
everything moved back to the place he has bought on Joe's 
Bayou. Mrs. Carson as usual is delighted with everything 
and everybody that is new. Novelty bears for her a charm 
that the oldest friendship cannot boast. 

Mrs. Savage commenced falling back at the first alarm and 
dispatched her baggage train in great haste. They are all 
safely housed at Lambert Norris's. 

Dec. 7: For the last three nights I have been staying in 
Jimmy's room, and Mamma has at last had a good rest. 
Today he is so much better that we have turned him over 


to Johnny's fostering care for the night. Jimmy did not much 
like the idea of being left in Johnny and Webster's hands. 
This is the first night for over three weeks that we have not 
set up with him. 

Mamma and I have been working hard for several days on 
the uniforms for Mr. Catlin and Mr. Newman. We finished 
them today and a lovely " pocket friend " for Mr. Valentine, 
Sent everything out to the camp with some candy, cake, and 
preserves for our friends and some eatables for the company 
None of them were in camp so we did not hear anything 
when the men came back. But we will hear from all that 

Dec. 12: Tuesday Sister and I went to Mrs. Hardison's to 
see Julia and Carrie Lowry. They were hard at work on sol- 
dier's clothes. They have twenty-four jackets to make, a 
trying job. I came home feeling ashamed of myself for hav- 
ing done so little and begged Mamma to send to the camp 
for some of the clothes to make. Mamma refused, saying 
that we have enough to do already, and really we have. 
Sister has been sick for several days with severe sorethroat 
and Jimmy improves hardly at all. He is still in bed and 
tonight has fever. 

We thought maybe Mrs. Curry would do some sewing for 
the soldiers, and so I went over to see her. Lou and Mary 
would each undertake a suit and Miss Jefferies, who was 
there, would also make one, and we thought the Miss Rich- 
ardsons maybe would do some sewing. I came back well 
pleased and sent Webster to camp for seven suits. He soon 
came back with only two suits and a jacket. All the other 
sewing had been given out so that was a job well off hand. 

Mamma and I are busy making my grey silk. Mamma 
bought it in Vicksburg the last time she was down, and it 
cost a pretty penny. 

Lt. Valentine has resigned his office and I am provoked. It 
was such a foolish thing to do just because some of the men 
requested his resignation. Why did he not have them put 
in the guardhouse? He seems to be the only officer in the 
company who tries to do his duty, and of course he is un- 


popular. I hope it will not be accepted. I should like to have 
a six-month talk with him. I know he is dreadfully chagrined 
under all that indifferent manner. 

Mamma has turned off Mr. Blakely. He would not do at 
all, and she has engaged a Mr, Ellison who comes tomorrow. 
Hope he will prove a good overseer. One is hard to get. 
Mamma has rented a place on Joe's Bayou above overflow 
from a Mr. Storey. Can send the Negroes there if the 
Yankees come again. 

Hiram Tibbetts took dinner with us yesterday. He is " a 
slow coach." Mr. McGee drops in occasionally as dry as 

Dec. 16: No news from My Brother for weeks. Do not 
know his address even. Uncle Bo is still at Fredericksburg 
and the boys at Grenada [Miss.], and are well. We get neither 
papers nor letters these days. Not a word from Kate Nailor 
since her marriage months ago. Why does marrying change 
one so? Why is it impossible to care for your friends if you 
have a new husband or wife? I should not think one lone 
man could take the place of all the loved ones of a lifetime. 
But I suppose a man's the reason. 

Both the Messrs. Valentine came over yesterday in a pelt- 
ing rain, both wet. Lt. Valentine is deeply mortified. He said 
the morning after the petitions came in he was ordered out 
with a squad to watch a gun, and he sincerely hoped a shell 
would strike him. He tried to make the men do their duty 
and so angered them. Both Dr. Buckner and My Brother 
were requested to resign soon after they got their companies, 
but since they did not think of doing such a thing the dis- 
satisfaction soon passed away. Capt. Harper's company is 
nearly entirely of poor Bayou Macon men who naturally 
have an ill feeling against the "rich swampers," and Mr. 
Valentine's reputed wealth has helped to antagonize them. 

Mr. Valentine was so pleased with the things we sent him 
and begged so humbly for a tobacco bag (why should he 
want it when he does not smoke?) that I have promised to 
make a pretty one. Because of the number I have made, our 


scraps of silk and velvet and embroidery silk are nearly 

Aunt Laura is low-spirited tonight thinking of Dr. Buck- 
ner so far away, though usually she is quite cheerful. Beverly 
is the tyrealest' lit tie treasure, a sunbeam in the house. Jimmy 
came out of his room today for the first lime. 

Dec. ,?9: Well, the most exciting Christmas of our lives 
has come and gone, and the excitement still continues as 
the bombardment on the river is incessant. This evening for 
several hours it seemed to be heavy guns at Omega. 

We expected both the Mr. Valentines to dine with us 
Christmas. We had invited Mary Gustine out to spend the 
week and knew we would have much other company, and so 
we made up a lot of cakes and good things. Two days before 
Christmas we all rode over to the camp, Johnny and I on 
horseback and the others in the carriage, to see Capt. Ben- 
ton's artillery drill. Capt. Harper and Mr. Valentine came to 
talk to us and to say, as orders were very strict, they would 
be unable to leave camp Christmas Day but would like to 
come to see us Christmas Eve. Of course, we would be glad 
to have them, and after a pleasant little chat with the soldiers 
gathered around gazing at us we started home. Johnny and I 
gathered a lot of mistletoe and crimson casino berries, and 
we decorated the parlor and hall prettily next day, getting 
through just as Mary Gustine drove up. We sent some 
clothes out to camp and decided to write Capt. Harper to 
bring any of his friends. Soon after dark he, Capt. Martin 
from Monroe, Capt. Benton, Lt. Nolley, and Lt. Valentine 
came in. We gave them a first-class eggnog and intended 
giving them another after supper, but they went out and 
before we knew it took some of the brandy straight. Since 
brandy is $60 a gallon and far from plentiful, we would not 
let them have any more in eggnog or anything else. They 
had had plenty. We had a fine supper and all enjoyed the 
evening. Next morning, Christine, Mary, and I were amusing 
ourselves at the piano when old Mr, Valentine came in and 
after some delay gave us to understand it was My Brother 
who was killed at Fredericksburg and not another Lt. Stone 


as we thought. Mamma was at once in despair and gave way 
to the wildest grief. We sent a messenger at once for Mr. 
Valentine's paper, another to the nearest telegraph office, 
and Johnny got ready at once and started for Vicksburg to 
get full particulars. Mamma could not listen to reason. She 
was sure he was dead and she was heartbroken. As soon as 
possible the man came with the paper, and reading it over 
we saw at once Mr. Valentine was mistaken. It was not our 
boy who had fallen but someone else's darling with a similar 
name. The relief was very great but the mischief was done. 

Our Christmas was ruined, and Johnny was on his way to 
Vicksburg. Mr. Valentine was very contrite and so sorry 
for his great mistake. We did not know until three days later 
that Johnny had been taken and was a prisoner on the gun- 
boats. Mr. Valentine brought us the news of the arrival of a 
large Yankee fleet at Omega and the landing of the men. 
When the officers reached camp Christmas night, the enemy 
were landing in large force. 72 They at once went on picket 
duty and the next morning were ordered to break camp and 
fall back on Tensas or to Delhi. We have heard nothing of 
them since. A force of 5,000 Yankees marched to Delhi or 
Dallas, burned some government stores and the bridges, tore 
up the railroad track, and upon returning embarked for 
Vicksburg. 73 We expected the Yankees on the place for three 
days, and the overseer carried most of the Negroes back to 
the Joe's Bayou place. But as they did not come, the Negroes 
were brought back in a pouring rain disgusted with their 
Christmas outing. 

The houses were burned on Buckhorn, except the dwelling. 

72 The Federals had completed their plans for the big push. General 
Sherman assembled over 30,000 troops, a large fleet of steamboats to 
transport them, and the whole gunboat fleet. The expedition left Mem- 
phis December 19, and reached Milliken's Bend on Christmas Day, 1862. 
Brigadier General A. J. Smith's division was left at Milliken's Bend 
while the remainder of the force moved up the Yazoo River to prepare 
for the attack on Vicksburg from the north. Personal Memoirs of Gen. 
W. T. Sherman (New York, 1890) , I, 313-14, 317. 

78 On December 25 General Sherman dispatched General Stephen G. 
Burbridge's brigade inland from Milliken's Bend to cut the Vicksburg, 
Shreveport, and Texas Railroad. Bridges over the Tensas River and 
Bayou Macon were burned, as was the depot at Delhi. Ibid., 317. 


All the mules and horses they could find were taken and some 
Xe^roes, and they made prisoners of all the men, the private 
citizen^, thai came in their way. But they did better than 
on their previous raids as they did not pillage the houses. 

They made a prisoner of Johnny as he was crossing the 
bridge at Sirs. Scott's and kept him on the gunboat three 
days. They questioned Johnny, trying to find out what he 
knew of the troops, guns, government stores, etc., in the 
country, but he refused to tell them anything. Then the 
officers tried to frighten him. Col. Wright took him off pri- 
vately and told him the men were anxious to hang him. If 
he would tell Col. Wright all he knew about the soldiers, he 
would be saved from the fury of the soldiers. Col. Wright 
said that they had hanged men at several points coming 
down the river for not talking, but as Johnny was a boy he 
wanted to save him. His threats had no effect on Johnny. 
He said that he knew the Colonel was telling a story and 
that they were not going to hang him. 

He became quite a favorite with the soldiers. They called 
him " Bub v and amused themselves arguing with him. Some 
of them encouraged him with " That's right, Bub. Stand up 
for your principles.'* How much more of a man he proved 
himself than Duncan Gustine, nearly grown, who was fright- 
ened into piloting them through the country, and everybody 
has been abusing him for cowardice ever since. The Yankees 
released the prisoners taken after two or three days. 

I am so afraid they will get my horse Wonka. I wish we 
had sent him to the Bayou. Webster has him in charge, 
hidden in the canebrake. Mary and Ella Gustine have gone 
home and I am used up with sorethroat and inflamed eyes. 


"Strangers in a Strange land'' 

Jan. 1 : My dear Brother came home this morning and in 
perfect health. How overjoyed we are to have him with us, 
but oh the disappointment that he is still only a captain. 
It seems he and the other gentlemen mentioned at the same 
time were recommended by the officers of their regiment for 
the field offices and a petition sent up for their promotion, 
but by the rules of war promotion could not go that way. 
The senior officers must go up first and so Tom Manlove is- 
lieutenant colonel and the senior captain, major. Tom Man- 
love headed a petition signed by all the officers of the regi- 
ment asking that My Brother be made colonel, but My 
Brother would not let it be sent up. I am awfully sorry. I 
fear now he will never be promoted. He has no ambition 
and a low opinion of his capabilities. It is foolish for me to 
feel so bad about it when I should be perfectly happy that 
he has escaped the myriad dangers -and is with us again. He 
was mentioned for gallant conduct in Gen. Featherston's 
report of the battles before Richmond. He was highly com- 
plimented on the field of battle at Sharpsburg by Gen. D. H. 
Hill and again in his official report. 

Dear fellow, if anybody deserves promotion he does. He 
may get the colonelcy of his old batallion, now the 48th Miss. 
Regt. He was slightly wounded in the foot at the battle of 
Fredericksburg, and that is why he was allowed to come 
home. He is looking well and cheerful. A piece of shell made 
a slight scar on his face but his whiskers conceal it. To me 
his coming was no surprise. I have been looking for him for 
two months, but the others were not so confident. He came 
by way of Mrs. Amis*, and she sent him on by horseback. 



Uncle Bo, he reports, is in the finest health and spirits, and 
our other soldiers are still at Grenada and well. 

He brings encouraging news of successes. We have re- 
pulsed the enemy twice between the Yazoo and Vicksburg. 
Gen. Van Dorn lias retaken Holly Springs and is threatening 
Memphis. Our victory at Fredericksburg was complete but 
barren of result, only it has depressed and surprised the 
Xorth. Altogether we are getting the better of our foes. 

Most of Lhe family are troubled with inflamed eyes and 
mine are paining me so, from long writing I suppose. This 
has truly been a Happy New Year to us all, white and black. 

Jan. ,?J: Sunday. After three weeks of silence let me 
think of what has happened. The Yankees, after an absence 
of more than a week employed in taking Arkansas Post, 1 
have returned in large force, have invested Vicksburg, and 
are cutting another ditch across the point above DeSoto, or 
it may be deepening the first ditch. 2 My Brother, Mr. Har- 
dison, Dr. Waddell, and several other Louisiana gentlemen 
were in Vicksburg when the boats came in sight, and they 
had great trouble regaining their horses, just missing several 
encounters with scouting bands. 

My Brother started off this morning with the best and 
strongest of the Negroes to look for a place west of the 

1 Arkansas Post (Fort Hindman) , January 11, 1863. 

2 The attempt to approach Vicksburg by land from the north failed 
when General Sherman was defeated, December 27-January 3, 1863, at 
Chickasaw Bayou. Federal forces were then concentrated on the Missis- 
sippi above Vicksburg with the plan of bypassing Vicksburg and coming 
in behind the city. General Grant ordered work resumed on the canal 
across the peninsula at DeSoto. Grant himself arrived at Young's Point 
on January 29 and assumed command of the entire force on January 30. 
He established headquarters at Milliken's Bend to administer the army 
which was strung along the bank of the river from Young's Point to Lake 
Providence, a distance of sixty miles. The plan for bypassing Vicksburg 
consisted of three phases; first, the canal at DeSoto; second, a channel 
from Lake Providence into Bayou Macon, the Tensas, the Ouachita, the 
Red, and finally into the Mississippi again below Natchez; third, a 
channel at Duckport, near Milliken's Bend, into Willow Bayou for pas- 
sage through Roundaway Bayou to the Mississippi at New Carthage. 
Battles and Leaders, III, 462-70; Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant (New 
York, 1917) I, 872-83; and Personal Memoirs of Gen. W. T. Sherman, 
I, 333, 342-43. 


Ouachita. Only the old and sickly with the house servants 
are left here. He is sure we will all be forced to leave this 
place as the enemy intend going into camp at the Bend, and 
in the event of their defeat at Vicksburg which is certain, 
will lay this whole country waste, sending out bands of 
Negroes and soldiers to burn and destroy. My Brother 
thinks we had better leave at once, and we will commence 
packing tomorrow. The Negroes did so hate to go and so 
do we. 

We have retaken Galveston under Gen. Magruder, 3 and 
the Alabama and Florida are spreading death and destruc- 
tion on the seas. 4 We have fought another Shiloh battle at 
Murfreesboro, 5 and the enemy have evacuated Island No. 10. 
Three day's fighting at Vicksburg and the enemy badly 

Heard from the boys by Joe's servant, who is home on a 
visit. All well. Their regiment is now under Van Dorn. 

Jan. 26: Preparing to run from the Yankees, I commit 
my book to the bottom of a packing box with only a slight 
chance of seeing it again. 

March 2: Saturday [M onday] I think. We have not had 
an almanac for more than a year, and so I can only guess 
at the time until someone better posted comes along. The 
Yankees have not visited us yet, and so after more than a 
month's concealment I take my book out to write again. 

The soldiers have been all around us but not on the place. 
At first we were frightened, expecting them all the time and 
preparing to start for the hills beyond the Macon, the Mecca 
for most of the refugeeing planters. Mamma had all the 
carpets taken up and the valuable clothes and everything 
but the furniture sent away or ready to send when My 

3 Galveston was recaptured on January 1, 1863, by a joint army-navy 
force under the command of General John B. Magruder. A. T. Mahan, 
The Gulf and Inland Waters (New York, 1883) , 108-109. 

4 The Alabama and the Florida were fast vessels built for the Con- 
federate Government for the purpose of destroying Northern ocean 
commerce. Battles and Leaders, IV, 595, 600-14. 

6 Stone's River (Murfreesboro) , Tenn., December 31-January 2, 1863. 


Broihei came back from Delhi, where he left the Negroes 
waifimj until they could be shipped on the train. Such a 
crowd wa> there Ihul it will be several days before they can 
yvl off. 

lie crave Mich a disheartening account of the roads they 
are impassable for anything but a six-mule team that he 
and Mamma concluded it was impossible to move at this 
time and we would await further developments here. Mam- 
ma has had the house put in order, and we are again com- 
fortable. I am so glad for I dreaded going into the back 
country, where we would never see or hear anything among 
total strangers, and to leave our pleasant home most proba- 
bly to be destroyed by the Yankees, and we may be able to 
protect it if we are here. 

Brother has been gone for more than a month. He has 
taken the Xegro men to the salt works [near Winnfield, La.] 6 
away beyond Monroe and put them to work. Jimmy re- 
turned from there two weeks ago, and Mamma sent out the 
overseer, Mr. Ellsworth. We have been looking for My 
Brother for ten days. 

Mamma thought of sending Jimmy back to Virginia with 
My Brother to go to school at Lexington, but now that the 
conscription is being so rigidly enforced she thinks both Mr. 
Storey and Mr. Ellison may both be enrolled. She will have 
no one but Jimmy to depend on, and so she will keep him 
at home. I am begging her to send Johnny. One of the worst 
features of the war is that it deprives all the boys of an 

^ My Brother must return to Virginia very soon, now that 
his furlough is out. We do not see how he can possibly get 
to Vicksburg. The Yankees and the water together make it 
a hard road to travel, even for the runaway Negroes. 

Jane, Aunt Laura's cook, and Aunt Lucy had a terrible 
row Tuesday night. Jane cut a great gash in Lucy's face 
with a blow from a chair and hurt her severely. Mamma had 
Jane called up to interview her on the subject, and she came 
with a big carving knife in her hand and fire in her eyes. 

c About 110 miles to the southwest. 


She scared me. She is nearly six feet tall and powerful in 
proportion, as black as night and with a fearful temper. She 
is a splendid cook and that is why Dr. Buckner has kept her 
so long. Aunt Laura always was afraid of her, and I always 
thought Dr. Buckner stood in wholesome dread of her. He 
would never scold her, but he would not sell her, though Aunt 
Laura often begged him to get rid of her. Aunt Laura had a 
long, lingering illness lasting several months, and she always 
thought Jane kept her poisoned. Jane showed a very surly, 
aggressive temper while Mamma was talking to her, and so 
Mamma did not say much. Jane went to her room and that 
night took her two children, a girl and a boy about half- 
grown, and in company with one of Mr. Hardison's men 
started for the camp at DeSoto. I think we are all glad she 
has gone. We felt her a constant menace. She must have had 
a bad trip. They were out in that blinding rain Wednesday 
and Wednesday night with only two blankets as protection 
and not much to eat. Mr. Graves saw them yesterday sitting 
on the levee at Mr. Utz's in company with fifty others, wait- 
ing to be ferried across at the break there in a dugout. All 
the Negroes are running away now, and there are numbers 
of them. They have to stop at the break and wait to be 
ferried over by an old Negro in a dugout, and so there are 
crowds waiting all the time. Col. Graves went down there 
yesterday to try to reclaim three of his who had escaped. 
Three had just been drowned, trying to get over, and he 
thought from the description they were his. 

Poor creatures, I am sorry for them. How horrible it all is. 
We had a scene of terror the night Jane left: The quarreling 
and screaming, the blood streaming down Lucy's face, Jane's 
fiery looks and speeches, Johnny and Uncle Bob's pursuit of 
her as she rushed away, the discovery that the children were 
gone, and then just as we had all quieted down, the cry of 
fire. The loom room had caught from some hot ashes, but we 
at once thought Jane was wreaking vengeance on us all by 
trying to burn us out. We would not have been surprised to 
have her slip up and stick any of us in the back. Johnny was 
our only protector as Jimmy was away. I went around 


bravely in ap;>?arance with a five-shooter in my hand. 7 Found 
out afterwards it was only dangerous to look at as it was 
not loaded. 

Mamma spoke of sending next day for Jane, but Aunt 
Laura implored her not to. She was only too thankful to 
get rid of her. She had been a terror to her for years. I think 
everybody on the place was thankful to get rid of her. The 
Xegroes dreaded her as much as the white folks. They 
thought her a hoodoo woman. 

The place looks deserted now \vith its empty cabins and 
neglected fields, and the scene is the same wherever we go. 
Mr. Valentine, Mr. Hardison, and Mr. Graves are our only 
neighbors, and occasionally Duncan Gustine or Dr. Meux 
come out. But as Dr. Meux generally comes to spend a week, 
and always in bad weather, we rather dread his visits. 

It has been a month of warm weather and constant rain 
and the roads are impassable. We have not been out of the 
house for three w r eeks. Already the fruit trees are a faint 
green and the grass is springing in the yard. Spring is early 
this year. Over the woods in front of the house hangs a faint 
green mist with the red of the maples shining through, and 
this morning Sister brought in a bunch of pale wild violets, 
sweet as a promise that winter is gone. The hardy garden 
violets and the quaint little heartsease have been perfuming 
the winter wind for weeks, and the garden is gay with jon- 
quils and narcissus. 

March 8: Last night it was reported that the Yankees 
were at Dr. Devine's, and we looked for them here today. 
My Brother and Mr. Hardison, who is conscript agent, went 
out early this morning to stay in the woods until nightfall, 
as they do not want to be captured and ornament a Yankee 
prison. It is My Brother's last day at home too, and we can 
see nothing of him because of those horrid Yankees. The 
fear of his imprisonment alone reconciles us to his departure. 
We are in hourly dread of his being taken. We will feel safe 
only when he is across the river again. How dreadful we 

7 A pistol with a revolving chamber containing five bullets. 


would feel should he be captured as poor Lt. Valentine was 
a week ago. Pie had just ridden up from Richmond where 
his company is stationed to see his father for a day and had 
not been in the house ten minutes when four Yankee sol- 
diers, who had been robbing Mr. Conley's place, rode into 
the yard. Mr. Valentine did not think there was a soldier in 
ten miles. They carried him off at once to the river, and in a 
few clays Mr. Valentine heard that his son had been sent to 
Alton, HI. Mark had only a change of clothes and not a cent 
of money, but Mr. Valentine made arrangements with the 
captain of a Yankee boat, who went out to see him, to furnish 
Mark with money, if Mr. Valentine will deliver a few bales 
of cotton on the river. Lt. Valentine has an aunt living near 
Alton, and so he may fare very well. My Brother and Mr. 
Valentine had left the house about ten minutes before Mark 
came, and they so regret it, as they think they three could 
certainly have captured four Yankees. We are glad their 
theory was not put to the test. 

Johnny who has been out scouting reports the Yankees at 
Rescue, the adjoining place, yesterday hunting horses and 
Negroes, and today they are scattered all through the lower 
neighborhood on the same quest. This band is said to be 
Kansas Jayhawkers, the very offscourings of the Northern 
Army. They say they will take by force all Negroes, whether 
they wish to go or not. A great number of Negroes have gone 
to the Yankees from this section. Mr. Watson and his father- 
in-law, Mr. Scott, living, I think, on Eagle Lake near Rich- 
mond got up one morning and found every Negro gone, 
about seventy-five, only three little girls left. The ladies 
actually had to get up and get breakfast. They said it was 
funny to see their first attempt at milking. Mr. Matt John- 
son has lost every Negro off one place and a number from 
the other places. Keene Richards has lost 160 from Transyl- 
vania and fifty of them are reported dead. The Negroes at 
work on the canal have what they call black measles, and it 
is very fatal to them. 8 

8 Hundreds of Negroes worked on the canals in the unhealthy con- 
ditions described by General Grant: " The river was higher than its 

171- linOKEXBURN 

M'trcli 4: My Brother started this morning on his long 
;md weary journey to Virginia. Johnny will be with him 
unli] lu* cruxsos the river. He hopes to get across at New 
Carilui!^, hut there are sloughs and bayous to swim, breaks 
to CTO.VS and marauding bands of Yankees to avoid before 
he reaches the river. He may have to go as far as Water- 
proof. 1 We will feel greatly relieved when we know that he 
and his servant are safely over. Wesley goes with him this 
time, and we are sure he will be faithful. He is the engineer 
lor the pin, but there is no telling when the gin will run again. 
We sent letters by them, but hope for no answers until the 
sieire of Yicksburg is raised. It is hard to give My Brother 
up u^ain. We had seen so little of him. 

When we heard from Brother Coley and Dr. Buckner 
nearly a month ago, they had furloughs and had reached 
Vicksburg on their way home when they heard that Gen. Van 
Dora was to make a great cavalry raid into Kentucky. They 
at once turned back and rejoined their commands. Brother 
Coley wrote that he could not possibly miss such a chance for 
a good fight. Well, they could not come here with the slight- 
est safety, now that there are wandering parties of soldiers 
all through the swamp. The Yankees are very daring, swim- 
ming the bayous, plunging through the mud of the unbroken 
swamp, often only two or three of them together. One 
company of good men could put a stop to all of this, but all 
our men are across the Macon with no desire to come this 
way. We hear they are panic-stricken at the name of a 
Yankee and run the other way. It is well that the honor of 
Louisiana does not depend on the troops on this side of the 
river, 10 

natural banks from December, 1862, to the following April. . . . the 
levees were neglected and broken in many places, and the whole country 
was covered^with water. Troops could scarcely find dry ground on which 
to pitch their tents. Malarial fevers broke out among the men. Measles 
and smallpox also attacked them." Personal Memoirs of TJ. S. Grant, 
I, 382. J 

8 New Carthage, La., was on the Mississippi below Vicksburg, Water- 
proof farther down, almost as far as Natchez. 

10 Confederate strength in the Trans-Mississippi Department (Mis- 
souri, Arkansas, and Louisiana north of Red River) had declined for 


We get no Southern papers but occasionally a Northern 
paper from the people who are still on the river. They are 
all said to have taken the oath and to have letters of pro- 
tection from the general commanding. 11 Dr. Taylor, Mr. 
Harris, Mr. Rucker, and Mrs. Nutt are some of the suspected 
parties. Gen. Grant is said to have been very rude to Mrs. 
Nutt when she applied for protection. What else could she 
have expected from a Yankee general? There are some 
troops still at Lake Providence. We cannot hear whether 
they are still working on their grand canal or not. 1 " We 
suppose they will harass this section until the river falls and 
they again attack Vicksburg. 

March o: Mr. Valentine came over last evening in very 
low spirits indeed. He says his Negroes will not even pretend 
to work and are very impudent, and he thinks they will all go 
off in a body the next time the Yankees come on his place. 

He brought the welcome news of the departure of that 
body of Jayhawkers that was on Mrs. Evans' place. They 
have completely ruined Mr. Catlin's, Mrs. Evans', and Mrs. 
Stevens* places, taking all the Negroes and all kinds of stock. 
The Negro women marched off in their mistresses' dresses. 

Jimmy has been for some time with the Negroes at the 
salt works. We are in a helpless situation, three ladies and 
two little girls and not a white man or even a gun on the 
place, not even a boy until Johnny gets back. And the 
scouts may take him. We can find rest only in the thought 
that we are in God's hands. 

March 8: Mr. Thompson took dinner here yesterday and 
gave us the news from far and wide. He is son-in-law of Mr. 
Lowry. We have taken two gunboats below Vicksburg, one 

almost a year as the Confederate Government sent more and more 
troops to the eastern front. In the region west of the river there was 
no force of sufficient strength to attack Grant's large army. Battles and 
Leaders, III, 454-56; J. P. Blessington, The Campaigns of Walker's 
Texas Division (New York, 1875) , 61-68. 

11 Apparently an oath of allegiance to the Union. 

12 Work was still going on at the Lake Providence canal, although 
General Grant had little hope that the project would succeed. Personal 
Memoirs of U. S. Grant, I, 374. 


by the bravery of one of our pilots. He had been ta,ken on 
one of our captured boats and impressed into service to run 
a irunboat up Red River. He succeeded in running the boal 
under one of our river batteries, and in the confusion of the 
attack he escaped to land, though four Yankees had been set 
to guard him. 13 

There are only twenty Negroes left on Mrs. Tibbetts' five 
places, and Dr. Tibbetts has only one left, a superannuated 
woman helpless to do anything. The ladies are cooking, 
washing, etc., while Hiram Tibbetts is wood chopper. 

The Yankees have five thousand Negroes camped at Lake 
Providence, all they have taken from the places up the river. 
They had an army of 30,000 men camped there, but they find 
the canal through to the Macon not feasible. They have 
moved up to Ashton to try a new canal there, if they can 
close the break at that point. 

March 9: Aunt Lucy's little girl Linda died this morning 
from the effect of the measles. It is the first child she ever 
lost and she is much distressed. Little Dora is also very ill 
from the same cause. 

Johnny returned yesterday evening with fever. He left My 
Brother within nine miles of Carthage. My Brother was to 
go the rest of the way in a canoe until he got on the other 
side of the river, when he would walk up to Vicksburg. He 
stopped to see Mary Gustine, and she joined them and went 
on down to see Julia at Mrs. Cochran's. So he got to see 
Julia at last. Julia in her note to me says she has seen Mrs. 
Bow Barr several times. Lottie was one foolish girl to marry 
that dissipated fellow. She had better have lived and died 
an old maid. 

We have heard a good many guns today and a boat whistle 
at Omega. Must be landing troops there. There must be a 

13 The Federal Queen of the West ran the Vicksburg batteries Febru- 
ary 2, 1863, and was raiding in the Red River area until February 14 
when it ran aground in front of a Confederate shore battery about fifty 
miles up Red River. A New York Tribune correspondent on board 
wrote, " Our pilot, whether designedly or otherwise, I know not, ran 
the Queen aground, and at the same instant the batteries opened fire 
upon us." Gosnell, Guns on the Western Waters, 186. 


large force at the Bend now, as they have been moving men 
up for some days. Young's Point and DeSoto are said to be 
under water, and they are forced to leave. 14 Mr. Joe Noland's 
is to be headquarters we hear. We hear that Mr. Hans Harris 
is having trouble with the Yankees, notwithstanding his pro- 
tection papers, and that it is not necessary to take the oath 
to be protected, and so I retract what I said about the 
traitors on the river. Am glad it was false except Dr. 
Taylor of Willow Bayou. We truly believe him to be false 
to the South. His wife has gone North with her children. 
She is from there and must have contaminated her husband. 
Mr. Montague's last two sons, in company with two friends, 
have gone over to the Yankees. Now Mr. Montague has all 
five of his sons in the North. It is strange that he could raise 
five sons in the South to love the North better than their own 
native land. Let us hope he is satisfied with them, as no one 
else is. All have a hearty contempt for them. What a dis- 
grace to belong to that family. 

The fruit trees are in full bloom now and our young 
orchard makes quite a show. Johnny is thinking of planting 
his melons when Uncle Hoccles get time. Quite a variety of 
vegetables are up and growing nicely. 

March 11: When My Brother was at home, he heard a 
few days before he left that the Yankees had discovered quite 
a lot of cotton bales hidden by the planters on a ridge in 
the swamp near Mr. Valentine's and of course were coming 
at once to get it. Cotton is so valuable now. So he rode 
over that dark night all alone with a pocketful of matches, 
and after fumbling around through the swamp for some time 
found it. With a good deal of trouble, he set it afire, staying 
by it until daybreak when he left for fear some of the Negroes 
would see hirn and tell the Yankees, who would come and 
burn us out. He did see two or three Negroes looking at him 

14 General Sherman stated that high waters early in March forced 
removal of McClernand's corps from Young's Point to Milliken's Bend. 
General Grant reported that work on the canal was interrupted on 
March 8 by a sudden rise hi the river. Personal Memoirs of Gen. W. T. 
Sherman, I, 338; Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, I, 372. 


as he palloped through Mr. Valentine's place. That morning 
a lonii" train of wagons came pulling through the mud. All 
the Yankee teamsters were delighted at the idea of getting 
Midi a pile of cotton hidden by the Rebs, when, lo and be- 
hold, there wa* nothing but a burning, smouldering pile. The 
lovely cotton \\as all gone. We hear they were furious and 
threatened to burn every house within five miles and hang 
the men who did it. But they did not know the men, and by 
the time suspicion pointed at My Brother he was off and 
away. The affair has blown over, but it made us tremble in 
our shoes for several days for fear they would come and burn 
us out. 

March 12: So many are getting letters of protection from 
the general at the Bend. We cannot hear his name. 15 Aunt 
Laura, formerly so bitter against the Yankees, is now urging 
Mamma to go in to Omega and get letters protecting us. 

The enemy have now been three months before Vicksburg 
doing nothing against the city, but scourging this part of 
the country. The opinion now is that they will not attack the 
place at all. The deserters say the soldiers will not fight at 
Vicksburg. They say that the place is impregnable, that they 
will not fight to meet certain defeat, and that there is great 
dissatisfaction both among the officers and men. They will 
not pay off the men for fear they will desert. For a time 
there were frequent desertions. I must think there will be 
an attempt to storm the city. I cannot think they will make 
all this preparation and gather this great army without at 
last making an attempt to capture it. 

When the fortifications were commenced, no one dreamed 
that Vicksburg would hold out this long. If the Yankees had 
come right on after the fall of New Orleans, Vicksburg would 
have fallen with hardly a struggle. It was strange that they 
did not push on at once. Now it seems almost a second 

We hear that Gen. [Braxton] Bragg has resigned on ac- 

15 General Grant's headquarters were at Milliken's Bend. Other gen- 
erals in command of troops in the area included G. W. Morgan A J 
Smith, Frederick Steele, and M. L. Smith. * 


count of the dissatisfaction of most of his officers with his 
retreat from Murfreesboro. Gen. Joseph Johnston is now in 
command. It seems a pity for an old soldier like Bragg to 
have no force under him. 

March 15: For the last two days we have been in a quiver 
of anxiety looking for the Yankees every minute, sitting on 
the front gallery with our eyes strained in the direction they 
will come, going to bed late and getting up early so they 
will not find us asleep. Today as it is raining, they are apt 
to remain in camp, and so we have a little relief. Friday they 
were at Mr. Graves', Mr. McPherson's, and Mr. Hardison's. 
Mr. Graves has a protection letter, and we did not hear how 
they fared. At Mr. McPherson's they took two horses and all 
the chickens, eggs, and butter in sight. They ordered dinner 
cooked and sat in the dining room and ate it. Only two men 
came to Mr. Hardison's, but they were ruffians, tough and 
impudent. They searched through everything for money or 
jewelry I suppose but found none and went off cursing and 
threatening another visit. Sister and I happened to go up on 
a little call soon after the men left and found everybody as 
mad as could be and feeling so helpless. Caroline, her favorite 
servant, and one of the Negro men went off the night before. 

Yesterday afternoon Mr. Valentine was here, and we were 
all conversing quietly enough when the frantic barking of the 
dogs called us to the front gallery just in time to see a party 
of Yankees and three Negroes passing on the gin ridge. They 
turned and took a deliberate survey of the place and then 
went on. They were loaded with chickens, eggs, and such 
plunder and were guided by one of Mr. Valentine's Negroes, 
who had run off some time ago, and had two more to carry 
the stuff they had stolen. 

So far our Negroes 16 have shown no disposition to leave 
but may at any minute. They were hidden out for a day or 
so, but of course that could not be kept up with a Yankee 
camp as near as Winn Forest. The fields as far as we can 

16 The house servants plus a few others. Kate previously stated that 
thirty were left behind when her brother moved the field hands inland. 


i*ee are sheets of green and gold, the weeds are growing un- 
checked and the yellow-top makes a brave show. 

\Ye have all been busy this week trying to make " auld 
claes look arnaist as weil as new," a tiresome and hopeless job. 

March 17: Mr. Curry, who is only home for the day, and 
Mr. Hardison came over yesterday to give us the news. Gen. 
Van Dorn has attacked the enemy at Franklin, Term., killed 
1,000, and captured the other two or three thousand, with 
heavy loss on our side. 17 Of course it makes us very anxious 
for the boys and Dr. Buckner. My dear little brothers, God 
bless them. 

Gen. Bragg is said to be in command at Vicksburg. His 
fame must now fall or stand with the city. Lincoln, it is 
reported, has been appointed a kind of military dictator with 
unlimited command of men and money. The Conscript Act 
has been passed and will be strictly enforced. 18 That, with 
the abolishment of all state lines (if that be true) , must make 
the war unpopular with the masses of the people. But the 
acts of Congress show that the rulers, at least, are not tired 
of the strife, and peace, blessed peace, seems farther off than 

Mr. Curry is just back from the other side of the Macon. 
He says the men over there will not fight. I wish we could 
swap them off for some of our Virginia or Tennessee men. 

The Yankees, who went to Mr. Valentine's the last time 
he was here, broke open his trunks and took all his clothes 
and valuable papers. How forlorn he must be there all alone 
on Oasis. Mr. Curry says that Jane and her two children 
were drowned while crossing the break. A short space of 
freedom for them. 

The plums and sassafras are in full bloom and the whole 
yard is fragrant. We all drank sassafras tea for awhile but 
soon got tired of it, pretty and pink as it is. Okra coffee is 
now the favorite drink. Mamma had several bushels of 

"Franklin, Tenn., March 9, 1863 

18 The Federal Congress passed a conscription act eaxly in March, 
1863. J. G. Randall, The Civil War and Reconstruction (Boston, 1937) ' 
410. The report concerning Bragg was untrue. 


the seed saved. After experimenting with parched pota- 
toes, parched pindars, burned meal, roasted acorns, all our 
coffee drinkers decided on okra seed as the best substitute. 
We have grown quite expert making shoes for ourselves. We 
cut up an old pair of gaiters and slippers for a pattern. 
We make the uppers of broadcloth, velvet, or any strong black 
goods we can get, and the shoemaker for the Negroes puts on 
the soles. They are not to say elegant looking but we are 
delighted to be able to make them, and they are far better 
than bare feet. 19 

March 20: We have wakened three mornings to the boom- 
ing of cannon and have gone to sleep to the same music, 
but we have not heard what they are doing. Sometimes we 
hear the beating of drums, supposedly at Omega. We are too 
near " the pomp and circumstance of glorious war " to find it 
pleasant. No Yankees in this section since Saturday. Per- 
haps the troops have been concentrated at Vicksburg. The 
Yankees who passed through the place discussed stopping 
to raid the house, but the captain with them said, as there 
were only ladies and children here, they would let us alone. 
We did not know a Yankee could have so much chivalry. 
Hope it will develop in the other raiding bands. 

The two Mrs. Richardsons and Mrs. Spain [?] went out to 
camp to get letters of protection. The general gave a letter 
to Mrs. Spain, as she was a widow, but refused letters to the 
others unless their husbands or brothers would come out and 
take the oath. Mr. A. Richardson started the next day to 
swear allegiance but was dissuaded by a friend. Miss W. 
Richardson went to the boat with her mother and came back 
boasting that she had caught a Yankee beau. Imagine any 
girl falling so low. No other girl in the country would ack- 
nowledge having even a Yankee acquaintance. Mrs. Graves* 
papers did not prove a perfect safeguard as a squad took all 
their good horses. 

19 Massy, Ersatz in the Confederacy, 80-84, says that shortage of 
shoes was the worst clothing problem of the Confederacy. Shoes were 
made from old leather, preferably prewar because it was longer wearing. 
Leather furniture, saddles, belts, gin-bands, and trunks were used in the 
manufacture of shoes. 


?v lamina, Mr. Hardison, Mr. Valentine, and Mr. Jefiries 
fvm to be the only people left in the country who have not 
,'ijiplied lor protection. We hope we shall never be so pressed 
a* io be forced to ask a favor of a Yankee. 

March ,*>\ We have had an exciting time since the last 
date. Two Yankees came out Friday guided by John Graves 
and carried off my horse Wonka in spite of all we could do. 

Wonka was racing around the yard, glad to be at liberty 

after being tied out so long, when two most villainous-looking 

Yankees rode up to the gallery where we three ladies and 

the two children were standing. They had pistols in their 

hands and proposed a " swap/' but we all refused of course 

and begged them not to take the horse. Mamma even offered 

to pay the price for him, but the greatest villain of the two 

refused bluntly and worked himself into a towering rage 

while the other, the smooth villain, galloped off to catch the 

horse, I called to one of the Negroes to open the gate, 

thinking it would give Wonka a chance to escape, but as they 

seemed afraid I ran to do it myself. When the wretch called 

to me impudently to stop, I did not notice him but threw 

the gate open. He then dashed up with the pistol pointed at 

my head (I thought I had never seen such bright caps) and 

demanded in the most insolent tone how I dared to open a 

gate when he ordered it shut. I looked at him and ran on to 

open the other gate. Just then Mamma called to me that 

they had caught the horse, and as I turned to go in the house 

the man cursed and said, " I had just as soon kill you as a 

hoppergrass." I was not frightened but I was furiously angry 

and would have been glad to have seen him lying dead. And 

I never saw Mamma so angry. Aunt Laura took it more 

calmly, and the little girls were frightened. Johnny was sick 

with fever. In five minutes the man had changed saddles 

and was riding my prancing, beautiful pet gaily off, leaving 

in his place a pack of animated bones, covered with sorrel 

skin. Some one said it was an old horse taken from Mr. 


I cried the rest of the day and half of the night. We had 
had the horse tied out in the cane for days, and not ten 


minutes before the men came, Webster brought him up and 
said that he would die if he was kept tied up where the 
mosquitoes could get to him any longer. So I told Webster 
to turn him in the yard and went out to see, and I never saw 
him look finer. At that moment the Negroes called from the 
kitchen that the Yankees were coming, and in a minute they 
were dashing up to the gallery and in ten minutes more were 
racing away on my horse. 

I think I will never see lilac blooms again without recalling 
this sad incident. We had all just come in from the garden 
and had great sprays of the purple flowers in our hands and 
stuck in the children's hats, and when the Yankees rode 
away and the excitement subsided we were still holding the 
tossing, fragrant plumes. This is the third time these same 
two wretches have been plundering out here. They were of 
the party that took Mr. Valentine and robbed Mr. Hardison 
and Mr. McPherson. Friday is the day they come. That 
must be their furlough time. 

The Negroes all behaved very well while the men were 
here. Most of them hid, and the others did not show the 
slightest disposition to go with them, though the Yankees 
asked them to go. They made William help catch the horse 
by cursing and holding a pistol to his head, and then invited 
him to go along with them to camp. He refused most posi- 
tively, and they rode off without doing any further damage. 
These two returned by way of Mrs. Hardison's, stopping to 
have a long talk with her Negroes, and took one of her mules, 
crossing just below the house. The effect of their talk with 
Mr. Hardison's Negroes came out today when six of the men 
with their children and clothes walked off in broad daylight 
after a terrible row, using the most abusive language to Mrs. 
Hardison. Mr. Hardison expected to get home today and 
move them all to Monroe, but he has waited too long. The 
other Negroes declare they are free and will leave as soon as 
they get ready. Mrs. Hardison sent for Johnny and Mr. 
McPherson early this morning. Johnny went at once but 
they could do nothing. None of them have even a gun. A 
Negro has stolen Mr. Hardison's. But guns are of no use to 


people in our dilemma. To use one would only be to invite 
complete destruction from the soldiers. 

The river is rising rapidly, and the levee at Lake Provi- 
dence has been cut. It looks like we are going to be over- 
flowed, a misfortune that we will welcome if it drives the 
Yankee*, away. Xo effort is made to hold the levees; in fact, 
they t>poke of cutting the one at Pecan Grove before the 
Yankees came up, and it is a pity they did not. A few feet 
more of water would be a protection as the Yankees would 
not be able to come out in boats. 

This country is in a deplorable state. The outrages of the 
Yankees and Negroes are enough to frighten one to death. 
The sword of Damocles in a hundred forms is suspended over 
us, and there is no escape. The water hems us in. The Ne- 
groes on Mrs. Stevens', Mr. Conley's, Mr. Catlin's, and Mr. 
Evans' places ran off to camp and returned with squads of 
soldiers and wagons and moved off every portable thing 
furniture, provisions, etc., etc. A great many of the Negroes 
camped at Lake Providence have been armed by the officers, 
and they are a dreadful menace to the few remaining citizens. 
The country seems possessed by demons, black and white. 20 

37 arch 24- Storms and rain for two days. There has been 
almost constant rain since Christmas. The oldest inhabitants 
say they never saw such persistent rains. It might be the 
rainy season of the tropics. Some think the cannonading at 
Vicksburg brings on the rains. It is seldom we hear the 
cannon that it is not succeeded by showers or a downpour, 
and often it is difficult to distinguish between the burst of 
thunder and the roar of the guns. 

The firing has been kept up, now fast then slow, for several 
days until today there is quiet. The sound comes over the 
water with such distinctness as to rattle the windows, and 
when the river is low we scarcely hear the guns. 

Johnny brought us news Sunday. (Sunday does not seem 

20 With so many troops in the area, the foraging for food and horses 
went on constantly, no matter what the orders were. Federal soldiers 
used runaway Negroes to guide them to plantations and sometimes gave 
them guns. 


like Sunday nowadays. It's always the time of the greatest 
excitement.) He said that Sirs. Graves was going Monday 
to see the Yankee general and would try to get my horse 
returned. That we know is a hopeless job, but we wrote 
asking her to report the behavior of the two men, giving the 
names they gave us and telling of their frequent raids out 
this way. Mrs. Hardison also wrote asking her to represent 
to the commanding general that there are only women and 
children in these homes, and, if he will allow marauding 
parties to continue to harass us, at least to send an officer 
in charge. Mrs. Graves says that the pickets are very strict 
now and that it is hard to get through the lines. The Graves 
have lost twenty of their Negroes. The letters of protection 
do them no good. Mrs. Hardison's servants have behaved 
worse than anyone's. They have done everything but strike 
her and have used very abusive language. The leader is a 
boy or man, Charles, who ran to the Yankees among the 
first and soon returned to stay at home. He said he had 
enough of Yankees. 

The life we are leading now is a miserable, frightened one 
living in constant dread of great danger, not knowing what 
form it may take, and utterly helpless to protect ourselves. 
It is a painful present and a dark future with the wearing 
anxiety and suspense about our loved ones. We long for 
news from the outside world, and yet we shudder to think 
what ev'l tidings it may bring us. Could we hear that all our 
soldiers are well, the troubles here at home would seem but 
light ones. 

We beguile the time sewing and reading well-thumbed 
books, starting at every sound, and in the evening play back- 
gammon or chess. Aunt Laura has just learned backgammon 
and enjoys playing a game. Little Sister has third-day chills 
and looks thin and pale. It seems impossible to break them 
without quinine, and we can get none. 21 Johnny is at last 

21 The shortage of quinine, the only means of controlling malaria, was 
indeed painful. Since the South imported its medical supplies, not only 
for the army but for civilians as well, the supply was soon exhausted 
after the blockade became effective. 

18C BROKENBURN well. Beverly's hair has been cut short and she looks 
like a pretty liitle boy and is delighted with her appearance. 
So my and My Brother's old friend, Joe Wicks, is dead. 
And he'clied, as a Southern boy should, leading his men in 
action. He was adjutant of a Tennessee regiment and was 
killed in a skirmish near Oxford months ago. What a host of 
pleasant memories his name awakens of the happy Clinton 
days when I was a little girl of twelve off at school for the 
fir&t time, with My Brother as protector and comforter, and 
Joe my first little lover. What a gay, guileless time we all 
had together, boarding there with his sister, Mrs. Rhodes. 
" Green be the grass above thee, friend of my early years/' 

[Anchorage, La.] 2J April 10: Brother Walter died Febru- 
ary 15, 1863, at Cotton Gin, Miss. Again has God smitten 
us, and this last trouble is almost more than we can bear. I 
can hardly believe that our bright, merry little Brother 
Walter has been dead for seven weeks. And we cannot realize 
that he is gone forevermore. Even peace will not restore him 
to us all. It is hard, hard that he should have to go, so full 
of life and happiness and with such promise of a noble man- 
hood. We were always so proud of our six stalwart boys, and 
again one is snatched away and we cannot think of them 
without tears. Father, "Thou has promised Thou wilt 
not always chide, neither wilt Thou keep Thine anger for- 
ever. Have Mercy upon us, Father, and spare Thou those 
who are left." 

For seven long weeks my dear little brother has been 
sleeping in his lonely grave, far from all who loved him, and 
we knew it not until a few days ago. Even as I write, I feel 
his tears on my cheek and see him as I saw him last when I 
bade him good-bye in Vicksburg, reining his horse on the 
summit of the hill and turning with flushed cheeks and tear- 

22 Anchorage, one of Dr. Carson's plantations, was located on Joe's 
Bayou in the western part of Madison Parish, about twenty miles inland 
from the Mississippi. The flight of the Stone family from Brokenburn 
on March 25 (as will subsequently be related) was indeed timely, for 
on March 29 McCIernand's corps of four divisions started across the 
parish to New Carthage. A skirmish with a small Confederate force 
occurred at Richmond. Personal M&moirs of U. S. Grant, I, 388. 


ful eyes to wave me a last farewell. And by the side of this 
picture is another that has haunted me ever since reading 
that fatal letter: I see him lying cold and still, dressed in 
black, in his plain black coffin. His slender hands are worn 
and brown with the toil of the last four months and are 
crossed on his quiet breast. His handsome clear-cut features 
are glaring cold and white, and the white lids are drawn 
down over the splendid grey eyes, so easy to fill with tears 
or brighten with laughter. The smile we knew so well is 
resting on his lips. Happy boy, free from the toil and turmoil 
of life, safe in the morning of life in a glorious immortality. 
It breaks our hearts to think of him sick and dying among 
strangers, a Negro's face the only familiar one near him. I 
can hear him asking so eagerly, " Has Brother Coley come? " 
They say he longed so to see him, and he had been dead two 
weeks before Brother Coley knew it. All we know of his 
death is from a letter of Brother Coley's written on the six- 
teenth of March, the day Van Dora's cavalry left Arkalona 
for the raid into Tennessee. Brother Walter had fever but 
he rode all day. The next morning he still suffered with 
fever, and he and two other soldiers of his company were 
left at the house of Mrs, Owens near Cotton Gin, a little 
town in north Mississippi. Pompey, Joe Carson's boy, was 
left to wait on him. The next morning the other two sol- 
diers were well enough to follow on, and they carried a note 
from Mrs. Owens telling Brother Coley that his brother was 
very sick and that he had better return. He did not get the 
note for two weeks. Brother Walter had developed a severe 
case of pneumonia, and on the fifth evening, February 15 at 
3 o'clock, he passed away with no friend but Pompey near 
him. It wrings my heart to think of him suffering and alone. 
I hope he did not realize that Death was so near and all he 
loved so far away. Poor little fellow, he was not used to 
strangers. He has been surrounded by loved and familiar 
faces all his short life. He was eighteen in December and 
died in February. He was but a boy and could not stand the 
hardships of a soldier's life. Four months of it killed him. 


We have no likeness of him. He has left only a memory and 
a name. 

He will come not back though all be won, 

Whose young heart beat so high. 

"Anchorage, La.] April 15: Tomorrow at daybreak we 
leave here on our way to Monroe [La.].- 3 This has been but 
a resting place on our journey to the unknown. At Mr. 
Templetun's on Bayou Macon, we will take a flat for Delhi 
where we will take the cars for Monroe. We hope to reach 
there sometime during the night. Jimmy has secured two 
rooms for us at a Mr. Deane's in the hills four miles from 
Monroe, across the Ouachita. These are Mamma's plans if 
she can carry them through, but everything is uncertain 
from the getting of the flat to the rent of the rooms. No 
plans are fixed in these troublesome times. First come, first 
served is the motto. Engagements stand for nothing. 

But we must certainly leave here, as we have trespassed 
on these kind friends for two weeks. Now, they are pre- 
paring to move on themselves, and we would surely be in the 
way. They have been exceedingly kind. No relatives could 
have been kinder, and Dr. Carson even wants to send us 
down to Delhi in one of his skiffs, a trip of two days. He is 
in all the hurry and bustle of moving not only his own family 
but several hundred Negroes, his own and those belonging to 
the large Bailey estate, for which he is executor. The more 
I see of Dr. Carson the more I am impressed with the beauty 
and nobility of his character. He has a tremendous under- 
taking before him, so many women and children to be moved 
and sheltered, and he feels deeply the responsibility. Mam- 
ma will not take advantage of his kindness about the skiff. 
We will get down the Macon from Col. Templeton's some- 
way. Mrs. Carson has given Sister a complete suit of Katie's 
clothes, as Sister, in our escape from home, got off with only 
the clothes she had on. She and Katie are the same size, and 
the clothes fit nicely. She has also given me a pair of nice 
gaiters such as it would be impossible to buy in the Con- 

23 The parish seat of Ouachita Parish, about eighty miles inland from 
the Mississippi. 


federacy. As I have only a pair of old half-worn shoes and 
can get no more, they are most acceptable. Mamma will 
get mourning for Sisler in Monroe, if possible. We feel that 
black should be our only wear. 

Mrs. Carson and the children will follow us to Monroe in 
a few days, and we have all planned to go out to Texas to- 
gether, camping out. " Times change and men change with 
them " trite but true. A year ago would we have thought 
of receiving, or of a friend offering, clothes as a present? Now 
we are as pleased to receive a half-worn garment from a 
friend as the veriest beggar that goes from door to door. 
How else shall we cover our nakedness? We have lost all and 
as yet can buy nothing. A year ago would we have thought 
of going even to the house of a friend to spend some time 
without an invitation? And tomorrow we are all going 
seven of us 24 with bag and baggage (very little of that, 
though) to stay an indefinite time with a lady we have 
seen only once, and without any invitation, trusting only 
that, as she is a lady, she will be kind to us in our distress. 
We are going to Col. Templet on's to wait there until we can 
get transportation down the Macon. Mrs. Templeton called 
on us last week here. 

Before leaving here, we wrote to our two boys and Uncle 
Bo. My heart was too full for a careless letter. I could only 
think of Brother Walter. But we know how anxious they are 
about us all, and writing is all we can do for them. So we 
wrote as cheerfully as we could. We would not add to their 
hardships. Brother Coley wrote that they were doing as hard 
service as was possible for men. And my heart aches for the 
delicate young fellow, trying his strength to the utmost. He 
seems almost as far from us as Brother Walter, and I have 
almost as little hope of seeing him again. Not a word from 
My Brother since he left. 

I have had no heart to write of our horrid flight from home 
but will some day when anchored somewhere. 

24 Mamma, Little Sister, Kate, Jimmy, Johnny, Aunt Laura, and 


\\car Monroe, La.] April 21: a "' We have reached this 
place of refuge three weeks after deserting our home. We 
have come by" short but not easy stages. Wednesday we left 
Dr. Carson's Anchorage place at sunrise, going in skiffs to 
Mr. Templeton's only a few miles and hoping to catch Mr. 
Gaddis' boat. The boat had gone on, and Mr. and Mrs. 
Templeton begged us to stay with them until Friday, when 
the boat would make another trip. We were only too glad 
to do so. There was absolutely nothing else we could do. 
The whole country is a sheet of water from the levees being 
down in every direction. There is not a skiff to be borrowed 
or bought at any price. The whole family, consisting of Col. 
and Mrs. Templeton and their two half-grown daughters, 
Mary and Emma, were as kind as possible to us. They did 
all they could to help us on. We were sorry to tell the Car- 
sons good-bye. They were so kind, but we hope to meet them 
very* soon. Col. Templeton's is a pleasant home. It is a long, 
low house with a large yard, shaded with forest trees, cool, 
green and homelike. It is comfortable within but with no 
pretensions. They set an excellent table and have a well- 
filled larder. Most pleasant of all to storm-tossed wanderers 
was a warm welcome. The only thing I did not like, my 
bedfellow was a " Yankee school marm." She professed to 
be a true Southerner in feeling, but when she knelt to pray 
I could not help speculating whether her petitions were for 
our success or the success of our enemies. 26 Emma Temple- 
ton is a little beauty, a dimpled blonde. Mary is a tall, pale, 
dark-eyed girl. Both of them are idolized by their parents. 
Mr. Hornwasher is their music and drawing teacher. He did 
not join the army. He had enough of war in his own country, 
no doubt. 
Friday we came down to Delhi in an immense dugout, a 

f On April 20 the Federal Army moved across Madison Parish to a 
point below Vicksburg, preparatory to crossing to the east bank of the 
Mississippi. Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, I> 390-92. 

- Northern school teachers had been in the area from the earliest 
settlements^ Miss Caroline B. Poole, Massachusetts school teacher, came 
to Monroe in 1836 as governess for a planter's children, and her diary 
gives a graphic account of conditions in the area. Williamson, Northeast 
Louisiana, 183-84. 


trip of six hours. All seven of us, Mamma, Aunt Laura, 
Sister, Beverly, I, and the two boys, with an assorted cargo 
of corn, bacon, hams, Negroes, their baggage, dogs and cats, 
two or three men, and our scant baggage. It was a dreadful 
trip. We were very crowded, the hot sun beaming on us as 
we were creeping down the bayou, hungry and tired. There 
was a very strong reflection from the water, and one of our 
poor Negroes was sick, groaning most of the way, and could 
not be made comfortable. We were glad enough to get out 
at the railroad bridge and walk the mile to reach Delhi. 

The scene there beggars description: such crowds of Ne- 
groes of all ages and sizes, wagons, mules, horses, dogs, 
baggage, and furniture of every description, very little of 
it packed. It was just thrown in promiscuous heaps pianos, 
tables, chairs, rosewood sofas, wardrobes, parlor sets, with 
pots, kettles, stoves, beds and bedding, bowls and pitchers, 
and everything of the kind just thrown pell-mell here and 
there, with soldiers, drunk and sober, combing over it all, 
shouting and laughing. While thronging everywhere were 
refugees men, women, and children everybody and every- 
thing trying to get on the cars, all fleeing from the Yankees 
or worse still, the Negroes. 

All have lost heavily, some with princely estates and hun- 
dreds of Negroes, escaping with ten or twenty of their hands 
and only the clothes they have on. Others brought out 
clothes and household effects but no Negroes, and still others 
sacrificed everything to run their Negroes to a place of safety. 

Everybody was animated and excited. All had their own 
tales to tell of the Yankee insolence and oppression and their 
hairbreadth escapes. All were eager to tell their own stories 
of hardship and contrivance, and everybody sympathized 
with everybody else. All were willing to lend a helping hand 
and to give advice to anybody on any subject. Nearly every- 
body took his trials cheerfully, making a joke of them, and 
nearly all are bound for Texas. Nobody " crying over spilled 
milk/* Not a tear all day, though one knows there were 
heavy hearts bravely borne. 

We got ofi from Delhi about sunset and reached Monroe 


after twelve. Nearly all remained on the cars until daylight, 
ab it was impossible to get accommodations in town. It was 
amusing to watch the people wake up in the morning, wash 
their faces, smooth at their hair, and go to eating breakfast 
a* leisurely and with as much sang-froid as though in their 
breakfast 'rooms at home. Everyone traveling on the cars 
now carries his own provisions, as you can get nothing if 
you do not, and no room if you get off. 

We and the Lowry family were the last to leave the cars. 
Jimmy arranged his affairs, and about eleven when we were 
all thoroughly worn out w r e set off in a four-horse stage. We 
drove through Monroe, which seems to be a beautiful little 
town, but I was suffering with fever too much to like any- 
thing. The road up the Ouachita was lovely. It is a clear 
bright stream with forest shaded banks. The hard dry road 
was appreciated after the mud and water of the last months. 
The profusion of catalpa trees, all in full bloom, lining the 
streets of Monroe was indescribably fair in the early morn- 
ing light. The deep green leaves seemed heaped with pyra- 
mids of snow. We never thought the catalpa could be so 

We crossed the river at Trenton on a flat and came out two 
miles in the hills to this place, Mr. Deane's, but we hope to 
be here only a few days. The woods around here are beauti- 
ful with quantities of wild flowers and fruits. I have been 
sick in bed until today. 

Yesterday Mamma and Jimmy went back to Delhi to get 
a party of soldiers to go back home with Jimmy and bring 
out the Negroes left there. All our and Aunt Laura's house 
servants, the most valuable we own, were left. She returned 
today, having succeeded in getting the soldiers, and the party 
with Jimmy as guide will leave this morning. We shall be 
very anxious until Jimmy returns as it is a most hazardous 
undertaking. Mamma did not realize the great danger until 
her return on the train. Some of the gentlemen were speak- 
ing of its hardihood, and fear if those of the party are cap- 
tured they may be hanged as spies. She is very much alarmed. 
We hear that the Negroes are still on the place, but the 


furniture and all movables have been carried out to cainp by 
the Yankees. The Negroes quarreled over the division 01 
our clothes. I have barely a change and the others have but 
little more. Our beds are all in the quarters. Webster, our 
most trusted servant, claims the plantation as his own and 
is renowned as the greatest villain in the country. 

If we succeed in getting the Negroes we may say farewell 
to the buildings as no doubt they will be burned, but that 
may happen at any time. Mrs. Barr's and Maj. Hay wood's 
homes have gone up in smoke. 

[Near Trenton, La.] 27 April 24- We have been here 
nearly a week, and I am still in bed. I hope to miss the fever 
tonight and get up in the morning. This is surely no time to 
be sick. Mamma, Aunt Laura, Sister, Beverly, and I with 
Beverly's nurse, little Annie, are all occupying one room and 
not a large one at that. The other small room, furnished only 
with a single bed and a bad smell, belongs to Jimmy and 
Johnny. As neither of them are here we might have divided 
forces, but it looks too uninviting to risk. The room we are 
in has necessary furniture but looks so dirty and dusty. 
There are no clean things for the beds and few towels and 
bathing facilities. Should Jimmy get any of the house ser- 
vants, we will certainly have it all overhauled, and such a 
washing of bed clothes there will be. Not a book or paper 
in the house. Being sick has kept me from dying with ennui. 
The fare is coarse and so commonly served. I have bread 
and milk three times a day but no butter. The others have 
come down to the stern realities of life and really seem to 
enjoy sassafras tea, coarse cornbread, and fat bacon. I am 
nearly starved. 

Poor Mrs. Deane seems a good, obliging kind of woman, 
quiet and industrious and with a great contempt for Mr. 
Deane, who is an habitual drunkard. There are several little 
children, not the cleanest in the world. Altogether things 
are so uncomfortable that we will try to change as soon as 

27 An important shipping point on the Ouachita Biver, about two 
miles from Monroe. 


Mamma went this morning to try to get board for us at 
Dr. Young's a fe\v miles farther on. We hear that a force 
^M)fM) strong have taken the St. Mary salt works and are 
marching in on Alexandria," 8 which is most lamentable news 
for us anil the country if true. If Alexandria is taken, they 
will certainly take the salt works on this side where all our 
Negroes are. Then, what will become of us? We will be 
absolutely destitute. 

Little Sister is the only one who adapts herself readily to 
circumstances. She is cheerful and happy and quite at home. 
She and Mrs. Deane are great friends, and she keeps busy 
most of the time, an amelioration of our lot. 

The May haws are ripening and all say they are delicious 
btewed with sugar. I have not been well enough to try them. 

[Xear Trenton, La.] April 25: We see that Van Dorn has 
had another fight and been repulsed. We can only hope 
Brother Coley and Dr. Buckner are safe. We will not hear 
for many days. Affairs look dark for our Confederacy just 

This country is filled with refugees. Nearly all our friends 
are back here or on their way to Texas, where we hope to 
be before long. Out here the prices asked for everything are 
enormous. The people of Monroe seem determined to fleece 
the refugees. It cost us $3,000 to get a four-horse hack to 
bring us from Monroe here four miles. 29 

Having no other way of amusing myself, I may as well 
write the account of our flight from home [Brokenburn] and 
our subsequent adventures. 

On Thursday, March 26, hearing that Mr. Hardison had 
returned from Monroe, Sister and I walked up in the after- 
noon to hear what news he had brought. As we approached 

a * Federal General N. P. Banks had moved toward Vicksburg from 
New Orleans to assist in the siege. Finding Port Hudson still in Con- 
federate hands, he attempted to bypass it by way of the Atchafalaya 
and Red rivers. He encountered General Taylor's small force near 
Franklin and forced him to retreat north. Banks then started for Alex- 
andria, La,. Battles and Leaders, TTT, 586-93. 

i T7 9TJh * rate * exchai >ge at this time was about four Confederate 
dollars for one gold dollar. 


the house, it struck me that something was wrong. As we 
were going through the garden George Richards came out 
and told us a party of Yankees and armed Negroes had just 
left, carrying with them every Xegro on the place, most of 
Mrs. Hardison's and the children's clothes, and all the pro- 
visions they could manage. They were led by Charles, Mr. 
Hardison's most trusted servant, and they were all vowing 
vengeance against Mr. Hardison. They said they would 
shoot him on sight for moving two of his Negroes a few days 
before. Mr. Hardison had fortunately seen them coming and, 
knowing he would be arrested or perhaps killed as a con- 
script officer, had escaped to the woods. 

We walked in and found Mrs. Hardison and the children 
all much excited and very angry, with flaming cheeks and 
flashing eyes. The Negroes had been very impertinent. The 
first armed Negroes they had ever seen. Just as we were 
seated someone called out the Yankees were coming again* 
It was too late to run. All we could do was to shut ourselves 
up together in one room, hoping they would not come in. 
George Richards was on the gallery. In a minute we heard 
the gate open and shut, rough hoarse voices, a volley of 
oaths, and then a cry, " Shoot him, curse him! Shoot him! 
Get out of the way so I can get him/' Looking out of the 
window, we saw three fiendish-looking, black Negroes stand- 
ing around George Richards, two with their guns leveled and 
almost touching his breast. He was deathly pale but did 
not move. We thought he would be killed instantly, and I 
shut my eyes that I might not see it. But after a few words 
from George, which we could not hear, and another volley 
of curses, they lowered their guns and rushed into the 
house " to look for guns " they said, but only to rob and 
terrorize us. The Negroes were completely armed and there 
was no white man with them. We heard them ranging all 
through the house, cursing and laughing, and breaking things 

Directly one came bursting into our room, a big black 
wretch, with the most insolent swagger, talking all the time 
in a most insulting manner. He went through all the drawers 


and wardrobe taking anything he fancied, all the time with 
a cocked pistol in his hand. Cursing and making the most 
awful threats against Mr. Hardison if they ever caught him, 
he lounzod up to the bed where the baby was sleeping. 
Raiding the bar, he started to take the child, saying as he 
waved the pistol, " I ought to kill him. He may grow up to 
be a jarilla/'' Kill him." Mrs. Hardison sprang to his side, 
>natched the baby up, and shrieked, " Don't kill my baby. 
Don't kill him/' The Xegro turned away with a laugh and 
came over where I was sitting with Little Sister crouched 
close to me holding my hand. He came right up to us stand- 
ing on the hem of my dress while he looked me slowly over, 
gesticulating and snapping his pistol. He stood there about 
a minute, I suppose. It seemed to me an age. I felt like I 
would die should he touch me. I did not look up or move, 
and Little Sister was as still as if petrified. In an instant 
more he turned away with a most diabolical laugh, gathered 
up his plunder, and went out. I was never so frightened in 
my life. Mrs. Hardison said we were both as white as marble, 
and she was sure I would faint. What a wave of thankfulness 
swept over us when he went out and slammed the door. In 
the meanwhile, the other Negroes were rummaging the house, 
ransacking it from top to bottom, destroying all the pro- 
visions they could not carry away, and sprinkling a white 
powder into the cisterns and over everything they left. We 
never knew whether it was poison or not. 

The Negroes called and stormed and cursed through the 
house, calling each other "Captain'* and "Lieutenant" 
until it nearly froze the blood in our veins, and every minute 
we expected them to break into our room again. I was com- 
pletely unnerved. I did not think I could feel so frightened. 

Mrs. Alexander went into her room hoping to prevent their 
robbing her bed, when one of them pointed his pistol at her 
and said, " I told you once before, old woman, to keep out 
of here and stop your jaw." Mr. McPherson and George 
were all the time on the gallery with Negroes guarding them 
with leveled guns. 

30 Guerrilla. 


After carrying on this way about two hours they lit 
matches, stuck them about the hall, and then leisurely took 
themselves off, loaded down with booty. V\'e rushed around, 
put out all the matches, gathered up the few little articles 
left, and started at once for home. Since the Xegroes de- 
clared as they moved off that they were coming back in a 
little while and burn every house on the place, I took the 
baby and Mrs. Hardison, Mrs. Alexander, and the children 
with George and Mr. McPherson gathered up everything of 
any value left, and we hurried home, reaching there spent 
with excitement. Mrs. Hardison was almost crazy. 

As we passed through our quarters, there were numbers 
of strange Negro men standing around. They had gathered 
from the neighboring places. They did not say anything, 
but they looked at us and grinned and that terrified us 
more and more. It held such a promise of evil. Jimmy went 
out at once to where Mr. Hardison was in hiding to tell him 
his family were with us. Jimmy just escaped being shot by 
Mr. Hardison, who, in the dusk, took him for a Yankee. Mr. 
and Mrs. Hardison and the small children went off as soon 
as possible, not thinking it safe to remain so near home. 
During the night a party came to the yard looking for them, 
but on the house servants' assuring them that the Hardisons 
were gone, they did not come to the house. 

We made preparations that night to move at daybreak, 
but something deterred us. Mamma thought she would go 
out and get letters of protection but later abandoned the 
idea. It was then too late for us to get off, and we spent a 
night and day of terror. The next evening the Negroes from 
all the inhabited places around commenced flocking to Mr. 
Hardison's, and they completely sacked the place in broad 
daylight, passing our gate loaded down with plunder until 
twelve at night. That more than anything else frightened 
Mamma and determined her to leave, though at the sacrifice 
of everything we owned. 

We made arrangements to get Dr. Carson's skiffs and sent 
Webster around collecting saddles and bridles. On account 
of the water we could go only on horseback to take the skiffs. 


With much difficulty we got everything ready for the start 
at midnight. Aunt Laura was the only one who did not 
want to go. She begged Mamma to let her and Beverly stay, 
saying that she would get old Mr. Valentine to stay with 
her, but of course Mamma could not allow that. The boys 
brought in everything we had buried out, except Aunt 
Laura's silver. That had to be left packed in a barrel and 
buried in the yard. The boys had done it one very dark 
night, when they hoped all the Negroes were in their cabins 
as it was raining. All the servants behaved well enough 
except Webster, but you could see it was only because they 
knew we would soon be gone. We were only on sufferance. 

Two days longer and we think they would all have gone 
to the Yankees, most probably robbing and insulting us 
before they left. About eleven the boys went off with their 
guns to have the horses saddled and brought up. After a 
good deal of trouble, they came. The boys carried their guns 
all the time. 31 Without them I think we would never have 
gotten off. Webster tried every artifice to get hold of one 
of them, but the boys never relaxed their watch. The night 
was cloudy and dark with occasional claps of thunder, but 
we had to go then or never. We knew the news would be 
carried to camp, and the Yankees had forbidden citizens to 
leave their places. Aunt Laura, protesting all the time she 
could not ride, was at last after much coaxing and fixing 
mounted on poor Little Jack Fisher, the family pony, old and 
gentle, with Annie perched behind her. I took Beverly in 
my lap. All the others mounted, and with the baggage cart 
with Uncle Bob driving and Jimmy guarding it in the ex- 
treme rear, the procession moved off. 

It was too dark to see the road but Johnny led off, and 
each one followed the shadow in front. At first Aunt Laura 
was loud in exclamation and complaint, until someone sug- 
gested that she would bring the Negroes down on us. That 
acted as a quietus, and thereafter she groaned only in spirit. 
Several times as the clouds lifted and it grew something 
lighter, I saw her pony struggling in a mud hole and Aunt 

81 Jimmy was about sixteen years old, Johnny about fifteen. 


Laura reeling in the saddle, but not a scream disturbed the 
stillness of the night. As we opened gates and rode through 
place after place in perfect silence, not a light was visible 
anywhere. After passing Out Post, the road was so bad 
and it was so dark that we were forced to wait for daylight. 
We dismounted in the middle of the road, and to Aunt 
Laura's surprise and amazement Mamma lay her head down 
in Johnny's lap and went sound asleep. Riding in the dark 
made her sick, and she was worn out with excitement and 
loss of sleep. 

As soon as it was light enough to see, the sleepers were 
awakened, and we mounted and went on over the very worst 
road it was possible for ladies to travel just a long bog from 
one end to the other. The morning air was pleasantly cool, 
and as the red light crept up the sky we heard all kinds of 
wildwoods sounds squirrels chattering in the trees, birds 
waking with a song, the calls of the wild ducks and turkeys, 
and three or four deer bounding into the woods just before us. 

When we reached within a mile of our place of debarka- 
tion, the road became impassable, and we struck off into the 
woods. The cart had to be left there and the baggage carried 
on by mules. After much trouble, getting lost and riding 
through water up to our saddle skirts I actually swam a 
bayou with Beverly in my arms we succeeded in getting 
all of our party and a little of our baggage to the landing 
place below Mrs. Stevens'. We sent Webster back to the 
cart for the baggage, and no sooner was he out of sight than 
he mounted a horse and set off for home. He told Charles 
that he knew he was not going to Bayou Macon with Miss 
Manda and that Charles had better come on with him. Thus 
by his treachery we lost almost everything we brought away 
with us, for when we heard it, it was already too late to 
send back for the things. We knew the Yankees would cer- 
tainly be where we were by 8 o'clock, and it was nearly that 
hour. We knew that we must get off at once if at all, for 
when the Yankees came they would turn us back. They 
never allow anyone to leave if they can help it. Finish this 
another day. 


[Near Trenton, La.] April 26: We have divided forces. 
Aunt Laura and Beverly with her nurse have gone to Dr. 
Young's, about four miles from here. He had promised to 
take us all and we had packed our few possessions and were 
waiting for the carriage that Dr. Young was to send, when a 
boy came with a note saying that Dr. Young found he had 
room for only two. Aunt Laura, who was half frantic to get 
away from here, went at once, Johnny going with her, all on 
horseback. Aunt Laura has gotten over her terror of horse- 
back riding since her midnight ride and was willing to mount 
anything to get away. 

Johnny came back yesterday from the salt works. Affairs 
are progressing favorably there. We hear that Jimmy had to 
abandon his scheme for making a dash into the lines and 
bringing out the hands. The water was too low. He is busy 
getting the mules over the Macon. We are relieved that he 
gave it up. It was too risky, even if feasible. There are vague 
rumors of approaching Yankees, and people are getting 
frightened. But we have been through too much to feel af- 
frighted at a mere rumor. 

[Near Trenton, La.] April 27: Mamma and Johnny are 
out hunting up bed clothes and anything else buyable since 
we need everything, and Sister and I are left to ourselves 
this rainy day. So I may as well finish the recital of our woes. 

We left our clothes in care of Uncle Bob who has been as 
faithful as any white man could be. He is Mamma's driver 
on the plantation. And we piled ourselves and our scanty 
luggage into two rocking, leaky dugouts and pushed off, 
Jimmy paddling one and Coffee, one of Dr. Carson's hands, 
the other. The sight of a body of horsemen in the distance 
coming our way lent strength to their arms, and as fast as 
they could ply the paddles we glided through the water. The 
men came on down the road, and we saw they were Yankee 
soldiers. But the water was so deep that they could not 
ride fast and we kept ahead. At last after nearly a mile of 
this race, the boats shot out into deep water, and we were 
safe from pursuit. Then what a shout rang out for Jeff Davis 
and the Confederacy. The men could see and hear us dis- 


tinctly, and we half expected a volley to come whizzing over 
the waters. But the boys would not be restrained, and their 
" Farewell to the Feds! " " Hurrah for Jeff Davis! " and 
" Ho for Texas! " floated over the waters till we were out of 
sight. The Yankees followed us until their horses were nearly 

After rowing a few miles, we joined Mr. Hardison and his 
family at the Jones place in the middle of Tensas swamp. 
They were in a skiff and had been waiting for us for some 
time. All his family and all his worldly possessions were in 
that skiff and it was not loaded, so quickly had he been 
reduced from affluence to poverty. We went on in company 
and were in the boats for seven hours in the beating rain and 
the sickening sun, sitting with our feet in the water. Not an 
inch of land was to be seen during the journey through the 
dense swamp and over the swift curling currents. The water 
was sometimes twenty feet deep, rushing and gurgling around 
the logs and trees. We all stood it very well except Aunt 
Laura. She was terrified nearly to death and was alternately 
laughing and crying. She insisted on giving the rower direc- 
tions and, as he was a slow African, confused him so that he 
forgot how to pull and ran us into brush piles innumerable. 
At last he said, " Now, Mistress, you just tell me how to pull 
and I'll do it." So Aunt Laura and Mamma steered the 
boat viva voce, and he did the hard pulling. I thought they 
surely would make him turn us over, since a dugout goes 
over with such ease. At last we came to a clearing, and the 
boats had to be pulled over the land. We walked a path 
lined with brambles, and our dresses were nearly torn off. 
Johnny suffered with fever nearly all day. 

As we were passing a Mr. Anderson's, heavy clouds rolled 
up, and it looked like a coming storm. Aunt Laura and Mrs. 
Hardison declared they would not go on but would stop 
right there, and so our boats were headed for the gallery. 
They were all under water since it was a little bit of a house, 
but we carried it by storm without a remonstrance from the 
owners, who were as kind as could be. Mamma and I were 
wet nearly to our waists, and the floor looked like it had been 


scoured when we passed over it. But the dear little lady did 
not seem to mind it a bit. I had a great bag of Aunt Laura's 
gold around my waist. It was very heavy, and just as I 
stepped on the gallery the belt gave way and it came down 
with a crash. A foot nearer and it would have fallen in the 
water and I suppose we never would have found it. That 
evening Dr. Carson came to take us to his house but Aunt 
Laura felt too worn out to go. Mamma stayed with her, 
and Sister, the boys, and I went on with Dr. Carson. The 
next day the others joined us there. The whole family re- 
ceived us most kindly, and oh what a relief it was to get 
to a place of rest and to feel safe once more. 

That night there was a most terrific storm which did not 
even waken me. I slept like the dead. I was completely 
exhausted by fatigue, excitement, and loss of sleep. Twice 
while the storm was raging, Mrs. Carson started to waken 
me, saying it was not right to let me sleep in such danger, 
but Dr. Carson would not let her. He told her that sleep 
was the one thing I needed. So thoughtful of him. Aunt 
Laura and Mamma said they were worse frightened by the 
storm than they had been by anything else. They had not 
had a brutal Negro man standing on their dress and fingering 
a pistol a few inches from their heads. I can stand anything 
but Negro and Yankee raiders. They terrify me out of my 

Had the storm come up while we were in those dugouts, 
few would have lived to tell the tale they rocked like egg 

We spent nearly three weeks at Dr. Carson's most delight- 
fully. Books, music, rest, and pleasant company charmed 
the hours away until came news of our great bereavement. 

The Negroes at Dr. Carson's were almost as much de- 
moralized as those on the river. The night after we reached 
there, a skiff load attempted to escape but were followed and 
captured after being fired on several times by Jimmy. For- 
tunately he did not hit any of them. 

Now for a list of our losses. All the clothes left in the cart 
were taken by Mr. Catlin's Negroes, Uncle Bob being unable 


to protect them. They comprised most of our underclothes 
and dresses, all my fine and pretty things, laces, etc., except 
one silk dress, all our likenesses, and all the little family 
treasures that we valued greatly. Little Sister did not get 
off with a change. Mrs. Carson kindly had a suit made for 
her. Mamma and I have barely a change and the boys have 
only what they have on. They lost theirs after getting them 
out here. 

Aunt Laura has lost everything except barely enough to 
do with for a time. Beverly's things were mostly saved. Aunt 
Laura's trunk, packed with a quantity of beautiful clothes, 
laces, silks, velvets, and so on, was sent to Mr. Anthony's in 
the vain hope that it would be safe. We hear, however, that 
the Yankees, informed by Webster, went there, demanded 
Mrs. Buckner's trunk, took it to Grant's headquarters, and 
that is the last of it. Some say they just broke it open and 
divided up the spoils. Both Mamma and Aunt Laura have 
lost all their bedding, table linen, etc. Our house is stripped 
of furniture, carpets, books, piano, and everything else, the 
carriage, buggy, harness, and everything of that kind. Also 
they have thirty Negroes still on the place we shall probably 
never see again. 

Mamma regrets coming away as she did, but what else 
could she do? We could not stand more than anyone else, 
and nearly everyone left before we did. Our mistake was in 
not moving everything in the fall. Charles and Annie were 
the only two Negroes who would come with us, and they are 
only half-grown. So passes the glory of the family. 

[Near Monroe, La.] May 2: We have been comfortably 
domiciled here since Tuesday. It is indeed a delightful change 
from Mr. Deane's, that musty room and uneatable fare. This 
is a large roomy but unfurnished house, a kind, pleasant 
family, and excellent fare an oasis in the desert. The 
mother, Mrs. Wadley, two grown daughters, a grown son, 
and two or three younger children make up the family at 
home. Col. Wadley is on the other side of the river. They 
are railroad people. Aunt Laura is boarding just across the 
road from us, and there is a young lady, Carrie Young, and 


a grown son in that house. Then, there are quite a number 
of young people in walking distance. There is no dearth of 
company, but I cannot enjoy it. I feel out of place with a 
party of gay young people. Their mirth jars my heart. Life 
seems too sad a thing to spend in talking nonsense. I feel 
fifty years old. 

The two Miss Dawsons from Madison Parish seem to be 
the belles of the country. They refugeed out here some time 
ago and are enjoying themselves exceedingly. Their house is 
a favorite resort for the officers, and the girls are out riding 
and walking with some of them every day' Fannie Dawson 
is beautiful, accomplished, and fascinating, we hear. 

Bad news from the Negroes at the salt works. Jeffrey is 
dead and several others are very sick. >The three whose wives 
are on the river ran away but were caught. Mamma and 
Johnny with a new overseer and his wife started to the salt 
works yesterday. She will start all the Negroes" who are able 
to travel at once to Texas. We will perhaps go to Hom^r [La.]. 

The news from Mississippi is bad. The Yankees are mak- s 
ing raids through the state, cutting off supplies from Vicks- 
burg. News of a Confederate victory at Charleston. 32 The 
panic here has subsided though the authorities are, still 
moving government stores from Monroe. We hear that M!r&. 
Amis' beautiful house has been burned. Emmett Amis is out 
here on furlough, flying around among the girls, but cannot 
get into the lines to see his mother and sister. They will be 
coming out now, I suppose. 

I have been hard at work ever since coming here slewing on 
the goods Mamma bought from Mrs. Lowry. We need so 
many things that it is hard to decide what to make first. 
Mamma bought a lot of linen sheets from Mrs. Lowry,. and 
I am making them into underclothes, thick and strong. They 
should last until the war is over. 88 

32 On April 7, 1863, a Federal naval attack on Charleston, S. C., was 

83 Prior to the war underwear was usually made from linen, fine cotton, 
or silk. When these were no longer available, sheets, pillow cases, and 
old garments were used. Women were reduced finally to using coarse 
homespun which was hot for summer wear. Massey, Ersatz , in the 
Confederacy, 94. 


Mary (Justine and all her mother's family have gone to 
Camden, Ark., and the Lowrys will go on there this week. 34 
Sorry we missed seeing each other on the way. When shall 
we meet again? A letter today from Mrs. Hardison. They 
and the turrys expect to move into this neighborhood in a 
few days. She writes gloomily of affairs on the river. The 
Graves arid the Newmans are the only families left out there. 
Mr. Mat Johnson, after being beaten by his Negroes, has 
come out to Floyd with fifteen other men and is trying to 
raise a company. Horace Greeley's son was out at Mr. 
Curry's place on a stealing expedition last week. When read- 
ing the Tribune two years ago and abusing Greeley for his 
vile slanders of the South, we never thought any of his kith 
or kin would ever be that near Brokenburn. Such are the 
chances of war. We did not think any of Mr. Greeley's rela- 
tions would be in the war. " He doth protest too much," 
though he does write of it as a Holy Crusade. Do you think 
it wicked to wish- that one of our enemies may be killed as a 
, punishment for his father's sins? 35 

| [Near* Monroe, La.] May 3: We went to a real country 
church this morning, saw a country congregation, and heard 
& sermon to match. Loring Wadley made several trips with 
tiie buggy to get us all there, but two of the party rode back 
in Dr. Young's $3,000 carriage. We had a pleasure today in 
a visit of several hours from Julia Street. She came down 
from Bastrop jftst for the day. She is more nearly depressed 
than I ever saw her. 

Annie and Peggy got here from the salt works today and 
we ape glad to have somebody to wait on us again. I expect 
we will keep them busy. 

Gen. Van Dorn has made another attack on Franklin, 
Tenn. Joe Barr, in Col. Stark's regiment the one that Dr. 
Buckner's company belongs to was killed in the fight. As 
yet no news from our soldiers, and we are anxious all the time. 

84 Many Louisianians took refuge in Camden, Ark., which was acces- 
sible by steariiboat on the Ouachita River. 

85 The report of a son of Horace Greeley's being in the Vicksburg area 
is apparently in error, for of Greeley's seven children only two daughters 
lived to maturity. Dictionary of American Biography, VEE, 58-9. 


[Near Monroe, La.] May 5: Two days of busy sewing 
and reading Hyperion, which I like greatly. 36 Mrs. Carson 
with Mrs. Napitandi [?] Richardson and Miss Carrie Lowry 
with Miss Mary Compton came to see us today. Mrs. Car- 
son's family are staying with the Richardsons on Bayou 
DeSaird until Dr. Carson gets his wagon train of Negroes 
started to Texas. The last affair at Franklin [Tenn.] seems to 
have been a drawn battle. If Brother Coley had been hurt, 
I think we would have heard it by this time. They had 
several items of news. 

The gunboats are unable to pass Grand Gulf and are lying 
idle between Vicksburg and Grand Gulf, like baffled beasts 
of prey. 07 

There is a great scarcity of provisions all through Missis- 
sippi. It is difficult to provision Vicksburg for a long siege. 
Mr. Mat Johnson has already forty men in his company. Dr. 
Dancy's house is still standing, and the Yankees have al- 
lowed Mrs. W. Scott to come out of the lines on a ten-day 

We went yesterday to see Florence Pugh [?] (now Mrs. 
Morrison) , an old schoolmate. The family are near here now 
on their way to Texas. She is a dear, sweet girl but looks 
dreadful. How marrying does change a body for the worse. 
She was a pretty girl a year ago, fresh and dainty. Now she 
is married and almost ugly. 

I am busy^every day trying to make up the cloth Mamma 
bought, but it is slow, tiresome work for one person with no 
sewing machine. The only things Mamma could find to buy 
belonged to the Lowrys, and they sold them at awful prices 
$60 for a pair of common blankets, $50 for a pair of linen 
sheets, and everything else in proportion. They have sold 
much of their own clothing. Mamma bought some of Olivia's 
things for Sister. Jimmy is fitted out with a suit belonging 

36 The poem by John Keats (1795-1821) . 

37 Grand Gulf was about thirty miles by land below Vicksburg Be- 
cause 4 the Federal gunboats were unable to destroy the Confederate 
batteries at this point, Grant moved his army farther down the river 
and crossed at Bruinsburg, forcing the evacuation of Grand Gulf on 
May 3. Battles and Leaders, TTT, 566-67. 


to a Mr. Mc-something, and I have two dresses and an 
embroidered skirt of Carrie Lowry's. It seems funny to be 
wearing other people's half-worn clothing, but it is all we 
can get. Mamma bought some Turkey-red calico at $3 a 
yard for a dress for Sister. 

[Near Monroe, La.] May 10: Mamma returned from the 
salt works on Friday, riding the whole distance on horse- 
back. 38 It was dreadfully fatiguing for one who rides so 
little. She has gone this evening to Delhi to make another 
attempt to have the Negroes brought out, if she can get 
soldiers to go with Jimmy. Quite a number of Negroes have 
been brought out in that way recently, some from within 
the lines. 

The news from the salt works is bad. Frank, my maid, 
and Dan both died of pneumonia and neglect, and three 
others are very ill. Poor Frank, I am sorry for her to go. She 
has been raised in the house with us. 39 With so much sick- 
ness among the Negroes, Mr. Smith has been unable to start 
to Texas. Mamma has bought a Jersey for us to travel in, 
but it is a weak-looking vehicle for that long trip. 40 

Several thousand of our soldiers are now at Monroe under 
Maj. Gen. Walker. Two of the officers spent yesterday eve- 
ning here and told us the whole command would get off this 
morning and that there were some splendid bands with the 
regiments. So this morning we rode out to the river oppo- 
site Monroe to see them off, starting before sunrise. We saw 
crowds of soldiers, talked to a number of them, and heard 
inspiring music. 41 The ride all the way through the spring 

38 About sixty miles. 

39 Tlie custom of providing each white child born on a plantation with 
a servant of approximately the same age, enabled the two children to 
grow up together. Such servants seldom did heavy work. Kate says 
that she was more than usually lenient with Frank; hence Frank was 
simply not prepared for such hard work. 

* This vehicle which transported the Stones so many miles during 
the following years was a four-wheel hack without springs. The name 
probably derived from the fact that many buggies and similar vehicles 
were manufactured in New Jersey. 

41 Moving from Pine Bluff, Ark., to the aid of General Taylor's forces 
in central Louisiana, General Walker's division arrived at Trenton on 


woods was delightful. I sat up until twelve the night before 
fixing a sort of riding habit. A major and two privates have 
vowed vengeance against the 6th Mo. Regt. and " Mr. Cor- 
rigan " for my sake, should they ever meet in battle array. 42 
The troops after embarking received counter orders and are 
again in Monroe, expecting to march at any minute. There 
is another panic in Monroe. The Yankees are looked for at 
any time. They could not make anything out of this poor 
family. We have been too thoroughly plucked by the river 

The abandoned river places are being cultivated by the 
Yankees. Horace Greeley's son is on the Curry place. Mr. 
Montague, a Southern Yankee, has all the Keene and Morgan 
estates, and nearly all the others have someone on them. 
They hire the Negroes at from $5 to $7 a month, neither 
clothing nor feeding them. I went with Mamma as far as 
Judge Richardson's to tell Mrs. Carson good-bye, as they 
expect to get off tomorrow. She thinks she and the children 
will stop in Shreveport. Mrs. Carson is in much better spirits 
than when at Anchorage. Mamma went on to Delhi, and 
Mr. Wadley and I came home alone. He is very kind but 
inclined to be familiar. 

Aunt Laura is not very well. We would dread to see her 
get sick. 

[Near Monroe, La.] May 82: In the last ten days I have 
been too busy to write. Mamma was away at Delhi waiting 
for Jimmy to return from his perilous trip to the river until 
last Monday, when they returned in triumph with all the 
Negroes except Webster, who had joined the Federal Army 

May 5. On May 9 the division embarked at Trenton on transports for 
Alexandria. A soldier of the division wrote: " When passing by the 
town of Monroe, the inhabitants appeared to have turned out in mass 
to witness us passing by. The ladies waved their handkerchiefs . . . 
and the bands played some of their favorite pieces of music, to please 
the ladies." Blessington, Walker's Texas Division, 81. 

42 "Mr. Corrigan" may have been one of the Yankees who stole 
Kate's horse, Wonka. The 6th Mo. Regt. participated in the Vicks- 
burg campaign and was probably on the west side of the river at the 
tune the incident occurred. 


some time ago, and four old Negroes who were left on the 
place to protect it as far as possible. 

Jimmy went in with a Capt. Smith and five other men, but 
it was owing entirely to Jimmy's exertions that the Negroes 
were secured at last. They had captured the Negroes and 
were pushing on for the Bayou when they were pursued by 
a body of forty Yankees. They came within hailing distance 
of Capt. Smith and his men and fired volley after volley at 
them, but fortunately none were struck. Capt. Smith ran 
as fast as possible to escape and to tell Jimmy to let the 
Negroes go and escape for his life, but when he came up with 
Jimmy at the Tensas Bayou, he found Jimmy swimming the 
stream and the Negroes and mules already across. Jimmy 
had heard the firing and rushed the Negroes over in dugouts, 
he swimming over with the mules. He swam over two or 
three times. 

The Yankees, having no boats, did not attempt to follow 
any farther, and so Jimmy saved all of the Negroes at last. 
They are now on their way to Texas in Jimmy's care, trying 
to overtake Mr. Smith's train. 

Jimmy and the men with him hid all day in the canebrake 
just back of the fence and in the fodder loft at Brokenburn 
and stole out at night to reconnoiter. They found what 
cabins the Negroes were in, and while hiding under Lucy's 
house they saw her sitting there with Maria before a most 
comfortable fire drinking the most fragrant coffee. They were 
abusing Mamma, calling her " that Woman " and talking 
exultantly of capering around in her clothes and taking her 
place as mistress and heaping scorn on her. Capt. Smith says 
that he never heard a lady get such a tongue-lashing and that 
Lucy abused the whole family in round terms. At daylight 
they surrounded the cabins, calling the Negroes out and 
telling them it was useless to resist. They were captured. 
William made an effort to escape by jumping from a window, 
but at sight of a bowie knife he gave up. They gathered up 
all the mules and horses and set off at once, not waiting to 
get anything to eat. As they passed Capt. Allen's on Bear 
Lake, Capt. Smith and his men stopped to cook something 


to eat, and it was there that he came so near being caught. 
The penalty would have been hanging, and I suppose there 
would have been no mercy shown as this is his fourth trip 
into the swamp to bring out property left there. He is a 
marked man by the Federals. 

Mamma heard only after Jimmy left that the penalty for 
removing anything from the property confiscated by the 
government was hanging, and she was utterly wretched until 
she welcomed Jimmy back, sunburnt and tired but tri- 

Capt. Smith says Brokenburn is lovely, a place of abund- 
ance flowing with milk and honey. The tall oaks in their 
summer finery of deep green are throwing shadows on the 
soft deep grass creeping to their very trunks, the white house 
is set in a very bower of green, and the flower garden is shin- 
ing off at one side, a mass of bloom. He said he did want to 
stay and take one good breakfast with the Negroes, since 
he never saw so many good things to eat: a barrel of milk, 
jars of delicious pinkish cream, roll after roll of creamy yellow 
butter, a yard alive with poultry, and hams and fresh meat 
just killed. The garden is stocked with vegetables, the straw- 
berry bed red with fruit, and then a supply of coffee, tea, 
flour, and such things bought from the Yankees. He says 
they would have been foolish Negroes to run off from a place 
like that. William and his family were occupying Mamma's 
room, completely furnished as we left it, and all our other 
possessions had been divided up among the Negroes. 

[Near Monroe, La.] May 23: Aunt Laura was quite ill 
while Mamma was away, and I felt the responsibility of 
taking care of her. She is now much better. Mamma had 
two fevers, and we were very afraid it would go into a long 
low fever. She is quite prone to have that in the spring, but 
fortunately she has escaped a return of it. Sarah, Mary 
Wadley, and I went last afternoon to call on the Misses 
Compton and Stacey. We went in Mamma's famous Jersey 
wagon, and it is a ramshackled affair with the seats and 
most of the bottom dropped down. We had a merry ride 
and concluded that a frame, a tongue, two mules, and a 


driver were the only essentials in a vehicle. We found a 
houseful four rooms and seventeen people with a prospect 
of two other families as visitors. Mrs. Curry's three oldest 
daughters are there. Sarah and I sauntered across the road 
this morning to call on Mrs. N. Richardson and Mrs. Scar- 
borough, but finding everybody but Mrs. Richardson sick 
we did not tarry. Walking through the pine woods, we saw 
wild flowers in such profusion. The air is so fragrant that it 
is a pleasure to breathe it. 

There is plenty of sewing waiting on me, but I am lazy this 
morning. Annie, our woman, is such a comfort. She keeps 
our room in such nice order and washes our few clothes 
beautifully. She does a little washing nearly every day, as 
she washes also for Aunt Laura since her girl Peggy is not 
very accomplished in that line. 

The news from Mississippi is bad. Gen. Grant with an 
army of 120,000 men is in the rear of Vicksburg. He has pos- 
session of Jackson, and much of the city has been burned. 
There has been a battle near Raymond in which we were 
said to have been routed because of Gen. [John C.j Pember- 
ton's disregard of orders. We drove them out of Jackson 
once, but we cannot hear whether they retook it after a 
battle or whether our forces withdrew. We will not be dis- 
couraged. With Beauregard and Johnston leading against 
Grant, we must win. 43 

In the death of Stonewall Jackson we have lost more than 
many battles. We have lost the conqueror on a dozen fields, 
the greatest general on our side. His star has set in the 
meridian of its glory, and he is lost to his country at the time 
when she needs him most. As long as there is a Southern 
heart, it should thrill at the name of Stonewall Jackson, our 
peerless general and Christian soldier. His death has struck 
home to every heart. 44 It is rumored that Gen. Tilghman was 

48 After crossing Ms force of over 40,000 men to the east side of the 
Mississippi, Grant quickly captured Port Gibson, Raymond, and Jack- 
son; on May 18 he began his siege of Vicksburg. Pemberton commanded 
at Vicksburg; J. E. Johnston was departmental commander with loose 
supervision over Pemberton. 

44 General Jackson was killed accidentally by fire from his own troops 


killed in the Jackson fight. We hope it is not true. He is a 
gallant gentleman. 45 

[Near Monroe, La.] May 24: Mamma and I went over 
yesterday after tea to see Capt. and Mrs. Harper. They are 
also on their way to Texas. Capt. Harper was one of the 
party at home on Christmas Eve, and my last ride on Wonka 
was to invite the gentlemen in camp over to Brokenburn. 
We were glad to meet his little daughter Sophie Harper, Mr. 
Valentine's grandchild. Both of the Mr. Valentines talked 
so much about her. She is a bright, attractive child and bears 
a striking resemblance to her Uncle Mark in features, ges- 
ture, and expression. They say old Mr. Valentine is so over- 
wrought by his losses and Mark's imprisonment that it is 
feared he will lose his mind. He escaped from his place a 
few days after we left entirely alone in a boat with only a 
few clothes. The Negroes came and stripped the place of 
everything while he was on it and were exceedingly insolent 
to him, threatening all the time to kill him. He is quite an 
elderly man and cannot stand hardships like younger people. 

When Mamma and I rode into Monroe Sunday, we passed 
soldiers camped in every direction, all part of Walker's com- 
mand. And on Monday Gen. Haws' brigade marched by on 
their way to Shreveport. 46 The children, headed by Sister, 
were in a great state of excitement and spent most of the day 
perched on the fence with buckets and gourds of water, offer- 
ing it to the hot, tired soldiers, who every now and then 
hurrahed for the little girl in red. Sister was a blaze of 
scarlet in her Turkey-red calico. 

Gen. Walker and family stopped at Dr. Young's and the 
adjutant general's wife stayed at Mrs. Wadley's. I gave up 

in the Battle of Chancellorsville, Va., May 4, 1863. Battles and Leaders, 
HI, 203-14. 

45 General Lloyd Tilghman was killed at Edward's Depot, Miss., May 
15, 1863, as his brigade covered the retreat of Confederate forces oppos- 
ing Grant's advance on Vicksburg after his capture of Jackson the day 
before. Battles and Leaders, HE, 487. 

46 A part of Walker's division, General J. M. Haws* brigade consisted 
of the 8th, 18th, and 22nd Texas Volunteer Infantry and the 13th 
Texas Dismounted Cavalry. -Blessington, Walker's Texas Division, 46. 


my room to her, Mrs. McClay. She was here five days, and 
we all found her a delightful lady, sensible and unpretending. 
The staff camped on the side of the hill between the two 
places, and they were here morning, noon, and night. 47 One 
evening Mrs. Wadley invited the young people and they all 
had a dance. We of course did not attend. All of the staff 
made themselves agreeable, and the girls went wild over them 
and so flattered and complimented them that I think another 
week of it would have ruined the young officers. They would 
have felt superior to their general. We went over to see the 
drill, and the compliments heaped on the officers were enough 
to turn the heads of so many Solomons. 

It was about their first experience with soldiers, and the 
girls ran wild. Maj. French, chief of artillery, was a splendid 
fellow and had a manner that, after a few minute's conver- 
sation, cheated you into the belief that he was an old friend. 
Maj. Stone claimed kin with us, but he was a real Arkan- 
sawer, and I did not fancy him greatly. Maj. Mason, the ele- 
gant and lady-killer of the crowd, a Virginian, self-conceited 
to the last degree, was already ruined by flattery before the 
girls had a chance at him. Also there were Capt. Gait, a 
Texian, and Capt. Smith, a cousin of Maj. Mason from Vir- 
ginia, small and dark, with a face like a knot. He keeps a 
diary, and Miss Mary and Nora Compton got hold of it and 
read his opinion of all these girls. He would blush scarlet 
every time they alluded to it, but they would not tell us 
what he had written. We judged it was not specially com- 

Gen. Walker is a plain, pleasant gentleman, 48 and his wife 

47 General Walker's staff included: Major R. P. McClay, Chief of 
Staff; Major A. H. Mason, Commissary; Major William M. Stone, 
Quartermaster; Major Thomas B. French, Artillery; Surgeons E. J. Beall 
and E. L. Massies; Captain J. A. Gait, Assistant Adjutant General; 
Captain Thomas Cox, Assistant Quartermaster; 1st Lieutenant Compton 
French, Aide-de-camp; Captain W. A. Smith, Assistant Adjutant Gen- 
eral; and Captain A. Faulkiner, Cavalry. Ibid., 67. 

48 Major General John G. Walker, born in Missouri in 1826, was a 
first lieutenant in the Mexican War and later served on the frontier in 
the West. He was a captain on duty at Fort Union, N. M., at the out- 
break of the war. Commissioned colonel in command of the 2nd Regt. 
Virginia troops under Beauregard, lie was soon promoted to brigadier, 


is an accomplished, stylish woman. We saw them frequently. 
Gen. McCulloch. affects great plainness of apparel. 49 Mamma 
and I did not specially fancy him. Col Randall is the finest, 
most military-looking man of them all. 50 We were sorry to 
see them march away going to Alexandria. 51 

[Near Monroe, La.] May 26: Mamma is staying tonight 
with Mrs. Young whose little girl Alice is sick unto death. 
Johnny, who by the way could not overtake Mr. Smith, and 
Mamma went into Monroe this morning trying to buy a 
wagon and carriage but failed to get either. So we must 
needs wait here until we can get conveyances, and we could 
not ask for a more delightful stopping place or kinder hosts. 
Such a haven of rest after the trouble and anxiety of the last 
three months. We have put away troubles and distress for a 
time as a wayworn traveler lays down his burden when he 
stops to rest, enjoying the coolness and verdure, though he 
knows the burden must be lifted and he must journey on 
through toil and pain to the end. 

How I dread being secluded on some remote farm in Texas, 
far away from all we know and love and unable to get news 
of any kind. It is a terrifying prospect. 

I am busy sewing most of the time. We will soon be 
through all our clothes just a white barege dress of Carrie's 
to alter for myself and Mamma intends making a black 

then major general. He commanded a division in General Lee's army 
in the battles of Harper's Ferry and Sharpsburg. He was assigned to 
command of the division of Texas troops in December, 1862. He left 
that division in 1864 to become commander of the District of Louisiana 
and later was in command of the Department of Texas, New Mexico, 
and Arizona. Ibid., 72-74. 

49 In October, 1862, Brigadier General Henry E. McCulloch organized 
the Texas Volunteer Infantry at Camp Nelson, Ark., into the division 
which General Walker assumed command of shortly thereafter. At 
this time he was in command of the 3rd Brigade. 

50 Colonel H. Randall commanded the 2nd Brigade. He was later 
wounded at the Battle of Jenkin's Ferry, Ark., April 30, 1864, and died 
a few days later. 

51 Walker's division left Monroe on May 16 for Campti, La., and 
later in the month moved to the Madison Parish area to attack Federal 
forces there. Blessington, Wdker's Texas Division, 83-94. 


velvet hat for me. Then, all our pressing needs will be 

Miss Tabithia Scarborough and Julia Wilson, the real one 
this time, came over to see us yesterday. Gay, pleasant girls, 
Miss Scarborough is very pretty, lovely black eyes, soft and 
big. We are over at Dr. Young's frequently. Aunt Laura and 
Beverly are quite comfortable there, and Carrie improves 
on acquaintanceship. William Wadley and Mr. Young do 
all they can to make time pass pleasantly. The country is 
crowded with refugees, every house full to overflowing. Mrs. 
Wadley has taken Mrs. Barr and Mrs. Coney Morancy, her 
daughter, and little girl to board. They have been here a 
week. Mrs. Morancy is the typical young widow and very 
bright, but, I fear, sly. 

Several days of hard fighting between Jackson and Vicks- 
burg. It is rumored that Grant is in retreat to his gunboats. 
May it be true. Not a word from any of our soldiers since 
the fifth of April. The long silence is very trying to Mamma, 
but she is a brave and capable woman, and such a business 

[Near Monroe, La.] June 3: Lt. Valentine is back from 
his Northern prison and brings us blessed news of My 
Brother's safety. He was wounded in the left arm above the 
elbow in the battle at Chancellorsville but by this time has 
rejoined his regiment. Tom Manlove was also slightly 
wounded and had a furlough home. My Brother could have 
come on a forty-day leave but did not know where to find us. 
He was being nursed at a private house in Richmond when 
Lt. Valentine came through there after being exchanged. He 
met him. 

I was out with the others on a huckleberry party when 
Mr. Valentine came, and it was nearly dusk when we got 
back. Someone called to us that Lt. Valentine had been 
there all evening, and my heart sank for I thought he had 
gone. I did want to see him and hear from My Brother and 
all of Lt. Valentine's adventures. But as we sprang out of 
the carriage, there he was looking better than I ever saw him 
and waiting to give me the warmest greetings and reproach 


at the same time for not waiting to see him. He was so glad to 
see us, especially Little Sister, who welcomed him most en- 
thusiastically. They were always great chums and Sister's 
kiss pleased him immensely. The poor fellow has no women- 
kind to kiss and make a fuss over him. How delighted his 
father will be. Should like to see the meeting. He went away 
a wealthy man and gets back with nothing but his pay as a 
soldier. He takes it most philosophically and seems to mind 
it only on his father's account. 

He could not tell us much that was interesting about the 
North. They were kept too close to see or hear anything. He 
represents prison life as most monotonous and wearisome, 
but they were not ill-treated. 

He says My Brother is having a nice time in Richmond 
and regrets the hole in his coat more than the hole in his 
arm. The last Nature will heal, the first will take money. 
Lt. Valentine joined his regiment, which was under marching 
orders at once, and they are now somewhere in the swamp. 
We are massing quite a force there under Gen. Taylor. May 
we strike a telling blow. 

The news from Vicksburg is very contradictory, but there 
seems to be constant fighting going on. We were repulsed in 
every engagement until the troops fell back behind our en- 
trenchment, since then we have driven back every assault 
with heavy losses on their side. They have made desperate 
charges on the batteries only to fall back with great slaughter. 
Numbers of Negroes, placed by their friends in the forefront 
of the battles, have been slain. Poor things, I am sorry for 
them. Gen. Grant has surrounded Vicksburg with an im- 
mense army. The struggle has commenced, but the great 
battle is still to be fought. Our friends around Vicksburg 
must have lost everything before this. 

[Near Monroe, La.] June 5: Aunt Laura and Mrs. Young 
have had the long expected falling out, and Aunt Laura has 
gone to board about three miles from here. We think that in 
a short time the fate of Vicksburg will be decided, and she 
will know whether to go on to Vicksburg or to Texas with us. 
Mamma is also waiting in the hope that our troops will drive 


the Yankees from the swamp 52 and we can go back home 
until fall or at least get what is left of the furniture. 

Letters today from My Brother and Capt. Manlove. Col. 
Manlove praises My Brother for great gallantry in the last 
battle. That is something we hear after every fight that he 
has passed through, and still he is not promoted, which we 
think so strange for such a gallant young officer. I fear now 
it will never come. Brother Coley and Dr. Buckner are still 
in Tennessee and well. No word from Uncle Bo. 

Mrs. Bo Barr entertained us with excellent music tonight. 
She plays quite well and is looking much prettier than before 
her marriage. She is very quiet. She certainly threw herself 
away. He is so dissipated. 

I am trying to braid a pretty braid of rye straw, as I can 
get no palmetto here, and I have promised Lt. Valentine a 
hat. Plaited one for Johnny in less than a day. It is rough 
and ugly, but he likes it. It is so light. Hatmaking is as 
much the rage here now as it was last summer in the swamp. 

The Misses Scarborough and Wilson were here last eve- 
ning. They and Julia Barr are the most likable girls we have 
met. The Dawson girls also called again, but I do not care 
to cultivate them. They are essentially men's girls, and so 
they will not care to cultivate us, unless My Brother was 

We had a charming ride the other evening. Went out 
huckleberrying but not a berry did we see. The ride part of 
the way was over high hills shaded by towering longleaf pines 
and carpeted with tall woods grass and wild flowers, and 
sloping in green waves from the hills lay deep ferny hollows. 

Mrs. Curry with the younger children came out from 
Floyd yesterday and stopped to see us. They take up their 
line of march for Texas on Monday. Lucy Seale paid us all 
the long-promised call. Her mother thinks Lucy and I are 
enough alike to be sisters, and I just hate to look like Lucy. 

52 Walker's division left Campti, La., on May 28, and moved to the 
mouth of the Tensas River, near New Carthage. On May 31 elements of 
the division skirmished with Federal forces at Perkins' Plantation on 
the way to Richmond to prepare for attack on Federals at Milliken's 
Bend. Ibid., 87-92. 


She is just the style I least admire, and we are not the 
slightest kin. 

Mr. Hardison is still very ill at Floyd. We pray he may be 
spared. He has been a good friend to us all. Mrs. Hardison 
sent me two lovely organdy dresses she had promised me. 
They look like old times. They are so pretty. She says she 
will never need anything of that kind again. She is very 
despondent, poor lady. 

M. Wadley etait ires devoue mais il est trop gros. . . . 

[Near Monroe, La.] June 10: We have bidden Aunt Laura 
and Beverly a long adieu I fear. They started yesterday for 
Mississippi to join Dr. Buckner, if possible. They go to 
Harrisonburg on a boat and then through the country to 
the river, if possible. 53 They are under the care of Mr. John 
Curry, and it is doubtful whether they can get on. But Aunt 
Laura, or rather Mamma, thought it better for her to at- 
tempt it than to go to Texas. Aunt Laura wished to go on 
with us, but Mamma feared she could not stand the hard- 
ships of the long trip camping out and the rough life with 
little hope of seeing or hearing from Dr. Buckner until the 
war is over. We hated so to see her go. We shall miss them 
for a long time. We went in to Monroe and saw them off. 
Sent numbers of letters by them. 

The news of today is that our men were repulsed at Mili- 
ken's Bend and are falling back to Delhi. A very different 
account from the first. It is hard to believe that Southern 
soldiers and Texans at that have been whipped by a mon- 
grel crew of white and black Yankees. There must be some 
mistake. 54 

53 They probably traveled on a steamer from Monroe to Harrisonburg, 
La. Kate does not say how Aunt Laura succeeded in crossing the Missis- 
sippi or how she got to Chattanooga, where she was when next mentioned. 

54 The Battle of Milliken's Bend began about daylight on June 7 and 
lasted most of the morning. The white and Negro Federal troops were 
driven from their fortifications back to the levee, but two Federal gun- 
boats came to their assistance. The Confederates withdrew to Richmond 
and sent their wounded to Monroe. When Walker withdrew to Delhi 
a few days later, the Federals attacked his rear and burned Richmond 
completely on June 15. Richmond was never rebuilt. Blessington, 


Mamma and Johnny with several other swampers went 
into Monroe at 2 o'clock this morning to take the cars to 
Delhi, intending to go in to their places if feasible. For- 
tunately they missed their train and will now await further 

All of us were busy from 5 o'clock until dusk making mat- 
tresses for the wounded soldiers expected at Monroe from 
the fight at Milliken's Bend. It is said the Negro regiments 
fought there like mad demons, but we cannot believe that. 
We know from long experience they are cowards. 55 

Monday Miss Sarah, Mr. Wadley, and I went to a fish fry 
given by Mrs. Wilson at Crew Lake. It was tiresome and 
I was sorry I went. Mrs. Proctor, a widow you read about, 
was talking most of the day about Capt. Catlin with a most 
conscious air. She evidently thinks him a great catch. 

Aunt Laura spent Sunday with us, our last day together. 
She went off in fear and trembling but is determined to get 
through if possible. She is such a sensitive, nervous woman 
that it will be a great ordeal for her, but it could not be 

Julia Barr and I are quite friends. I like Miss Sarah very 
much, but she is so absorbed with Mrs. Morancy that we see 
little of her. We are staying so long I fear Mrs. Wadley 
will get tired of us, and so we are all reconciled to making 
an early start to Texas. 

[Near Monroe, La.] June 15: Visiting and visitors, black- 
berry parties, and long walks over the hills have occupied 
the time since Wednesday. Julia Barr and I took tea with 
Mrs. Dortch and were agreeably entertained. We have been 
since to see Mrs. Waddell, who is a charming pretty lady. 

Mamma and Johnny are busy making arrangements for us 

Walker's Texas Division, 95-126; Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, I, 
456; Benjamin Quarles, The Negro in the Civil War (Boston, 1953), 

55 General Grant stated: " This was the first important engagement 
of the war in which colored troops were under fire. These men were 
very raw, having all been enlisted since the beginning of the siege [of 
Vicksburg], but they behaved well." Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, 
I, 456; see also Quarles, The Negro in the Civil War, 224. 


to get off. Will start on Wednesday. All busy this afternoon 
making a tent of some carpeting, the only thing to be bought 
in Monroe and it was $4 a yard. From Jimmy's letter, re- 
ceived today from Titus [Texas], think we will be on the 
road two weeks. He does not write encouragingly. The 
country is not more abundant than this and Billy, another 
Negro man, is almost dead. But Mamma hopes to find it 
better than Jimmy paints it. Our delightful sojourn at this 
place is nearly over, and it will be many a weary day before 
we are so comfortable again. They are the very kindest 
people we ever met, and Mr. Wadley, who returned a few 
days ago, is just as generous and kind as all the others. To 
crown all her good deeds Mrs. Wadley this morning refused 
to take a cent for our board all these seven weeks. Mamma 
insisted on it, but both Mr. and Mrs. Wadley declared they 
could not think of such a thing, saying Mamma would need 
every cent she had before she got settled again. Our own 
relations could not have been kinder, and we were total 
strangers to them when they took us in out of the goodness 
of their hearts. May God reward them, we never can. To- 
morrow is our last day here and we will go around and say 
good-bye to the neighbors. This lovely family and Julia Barr 
I shall be sorry to leave. 

[Between Monroe and Minden, La.] June 19: Half past 
twelve this sultry June 19 we are sitting under the shade of 
a spreading oak about halfway between Monroe and Minden 
eating rosy June apples and waiting for one of our Jersey 
mules to get over a slight attack of colic, when we will 
journey. We had to undertake the trip in the Jersey after all. 
Could not find another thing. Johnny drives with a most 
reckless hand up and down these steep, rocky hills. 

We are on the road for Texas at last, and I imagine no 
party of emigrants ever started with sadder hearts or less 
pleasure in anticipation. If we had gone on at once when 
coining ^to Monroe, we would have liked the idea, but we 
stayed just long enough at Mrs. Wadley's to spoil us for a 
trip like this. We find it very lonely, only we four and the 
servants. If we could have joined another party, it would be 


so much more enjoyable. If only Julia Ban and that family 
could have come on at the same time. A passing soldier tells 
us that a Federal force is advancing on Monroe. We left on 
Wednesday in the Jersey with it and the luggage wagons 
packed to their fullest capacity. We all left home without a 
tear, the dread of staying there was so great, but we and all 
the family were in tears when we told them good-bye at Mrs. 
Wadley's. Shall we ever meet such kind friends again? 

The first long hill halted us. We tried for an hour to get 
the mules on the wagon to pull up it, but they would not or 
could not. Mamma had part of the baggage unloaded and 
sent back to the Wadley's, and at last we got underway. It 
was such a dark, rainy afternoon that we thought we would 
not commence camping that evening but would stay at some 
house on the road. So we went ahead of the wagon, and 
before sunset commenced enquiring for lodging. At house 
after house, dark and uninviting with a host of little tow- 
heads and a f orelorn-looking woman, generally spinning, amid 
the barking of a pack of dogs, would come the response, 
" Naw, we don't take in travelers," in a tone of contempt, 
as though the very name of traveler was a disgrace. We kept 
this up, the poor tired mules dragging on from place to place, 
until 10 o'clock at night. Being refused at the last house, 
Ma/mm a. declared we could go no farther, and we would be 
forced to stay in the Jersey until morning. But three swamp- 
ers staying there Judge Farrar one of them heard our 
distressed voices, came to our relief, and induced the owner 
to allow us to stay. We were glad enough of the shelter, for 
that was about all it was. Chunks of fat meat and cold, 
white-looking cornbread with very good water were all the 
refreshments. This night's experience satisfied us, and we 
have determined to camp out for the rest of the way. 

The next day we went on as far as Mrs. Bedford's, about 
twenty-five miles from Monroe. They gave us a nice dinner, 
and we had a pleasant little stay there. We went on in the 
afternoon with a supply of pretty June apples from their 
orchard, camped out that night for the first time, and found 
it far better than asking for shelter and getting nothing, 


nothing but snubs and coarse fare at exorbitant prices. It 
looked like it would rain every minute. It seemed nothing 
new to be lying out under the shadow of a tree with the 
stars looking dimly down through the branches, with the 
lightning flashing in the North, the sultry night breeze sway- 
ing the wildwoods grass in my face, and a nondescript bug 
attempting to creep into my ear. We have read so many 
stories of camping it seems like an old song. Shall we have 
any of the startling adventures that travelers usually have 
to relate? 

We met Harry Morris yesterday. He says Mary Gustine 
is to be married in about two weeks to a Capt. Buckner, a 
widower with one child. It is a short engagement as they 
have not known each other more than six weeks. All of that 
crowd are at Camden, Ark. 

[Near Bellevue, La.] 66 June 22: We are resting for din- 
ner in a thicket of blackjack and towering pines after a 
wearisome ride over the worst roads. Now we find we 
branched off in the wrong direction and are only four miles 
farther on our way than when we left camp this morning. 
We passed through Minden, 57 such a pretty little town with 
the deepest white sand in the streets, about the size of Mon- 
roe. I wish we could have located there. It looked very 
inviting, but we must go on where the Negroes are. We 
camped near a nice-looking house, and the people were kind 
in sending us out milk and butter, the first time we have been 
able to get anything of the kind. We also bought some 
chickens, a relief after a steady diet of ham and bacon. We 
get a lot of fruit, apples, plums, and huckleberries, the large 
low-bush variety, also, the blackberries are ripening. We 
stop several times a day or whenever we see a tempting 
thicket and enjoy the fruit. We so often have to wait for 
the wagon. We need never hurry. No flour yet, but we hear 

56 A small settlement on Bodcau Bayou, about seventeen miles north- 
east of Shreveport. 

57 Founded in 1836, Minden was named for a town in northern Ger- 
many by its founder, Charles V. Veeder. In 1860 it had a population of 


it is plentiful farther on. Some tea bought in Monroe is 
evidently made of blackberry leaves. Dampened and un- 
twisted they are identical, absolutely without flavor. 

[Lamar County, Tex.] 58 July 7: While camping out we 
were generally too tired at our noonday rest to do anything 
but throw ourselves down on the cushions and sleep until 
dinner. And at night when we stopped, I had only spirit to 
lean lazily back in one of our two rocking chairs and watch 
Annie get supper or to look up at the stars and think of all 
the dear friends that the waves of Fate are sweeping farther 
and farther away from us every day. I had such a longing 
for home and the dear life of the past that my very soul 
would grow sick. I know Mamma felt it far more than I did, 
but she would not complain. 

I will copy a letter I wrote to Anna Dobbs which tells all 
there is to tell of our late journeyings. We are anxious to 
know where they and Dr. Carson's family have settled. 

Here we are safely hidden in a dark corner of the far off 
County of Lamar after a tiresome, monotonous trip of 
little less than three weeks, and I am already as disgusted 
as I expected to be. This part of the land abounds in white- 
headed children and buttermilk, my two pet aversions. It 
is a place where the people are just learning that there is a 
war going on, where Union feeling is rife, 58 and where the 
principal amusement of loyal citizens is hanging suspected 
Jayhawkers. Hoops are just coming in with full fashion. 
This is indeed the place where hoops ' most do flourish and 
abide/ Have not seen a hoopless lady since entering the 
state. Shoes are considered rather luxuries than neces- 
saries and are carefully kept for state occasions. As for 
bowls and pitchers, * Oh no, they never mention them. 

58 Lamar County at the end of the #75 mile journey from Monroe 
was named for Mirabeau B. Lamar, when the county was organized in 
1840. Paris, the county seat in 1863, was a small town. A. W. Neville, 
The History of Lamar County (Paris, Tex., 1937) , 1-24; The Hand- 
book of Texas, ed. Walter Prescott Webb (Austin, 1952) , II, 15. 

59 Lamar County delegates to the state Secession Convention cast 
their votes against secession, as did those of fourteen other counties in 
Texas. The county supported the Confederacy, however, and raised 
several military units. Handbook of Texas , IE, 15. 


Their name is never heard.' One tin pan or a frying pan 
answers every purpose. Wash tubs seem obsolete and not 
to be bought at any price. The only way of killing time 
and one never feels more like killing him than on this deso- 
late wind-swept prairie is to attend some of the protracted 
meetings that are being carried on all around us. And oh, 
the swarms of ugly, rough people, different only in degrees 
of ugliness. There must be something in the air of Texas 
fatal to beauty. We have not seen a good-looking or edu- 
cated person since we entered the state. We are in the dark 
corner. We could not stand it here for a permanent stay, 
but Mamma has only stopped here for a breathing spell 
and to see how the Negroes are getting on. She will start 
out soon in search of a home until the war is over. 

We camped out except when it rained, which it did most 
of the last week, thereby ruining most of the clothes we had 
so laboriously amassed after fleeing from the Yankees. We 
would be so tired by night we welcomed the rudest shelter. 
The longer we traveled the more wearisome it grew, and I 
never turned over at night without expecting to feel the 
sting of a tarantula or centipede. But we really saw very 
few and reached here without an accident. I wrote to Sarah 
Wadley never to come to Texas for pleasure, but if forced 
to come to cover herself with a thin coat of tar to protect 
herself from the myriads of insects along the road. And 
here, we have settled at their headquarters ticks, redbugs, 
fleas by the millions, and snakes gliding through the grass 
by hundreds. But we rarely hear of anyone being snake- 
bitten. Game, deer and turkeys, are abundant about here 
but not eatable on account of the insects tormenting them 
until they are too tough to eat. 

We met Jimmy coming to meet us near Walnut Hill, Ark. 
He brought the news of Billy's death, the seventh of our 
Negroes to die since New Year's. We were surprised to 
hear that Uncle Austin was cultivating two places near 
Walnut Hill, and we waited there nearly a day to see him. 
He has managed to save his Negroes. Mamma sent for him 
and he came and was delighted to see us. He traveled with 
us that evening and part of the next day. He is looking 
well but much older. He has not heard from his daughters 
for months. 

We are staying right out on the bare prairie in a rough 


two-room shanty with the overseer and his family. With 
only the bare necessaries of life, we think it will be at least 
two months before we can make any change, and so we 
must needs make the best of it. 

[Lamar County, Tex.] July 12\ We made our first visit 
in Texas yesterday. We went to a protracted meeting being 
carried on nine miles from here at an old schoolhouse called 

it must be in mockery " Paradise/' After the meeting we 

went by invitation to spend the evening and night with some 
real nice people, settlers from Virginia, the McGleasons. They 
are a pleasant family and exceedingly hospitable. We came 
back this morning after a ride of nearly eighteen miles, hav- 
ing missed our road three times. The prairie roads are so 
much alike it is impossible for strangers to distinguish the 
right from the wrong. 

The congregation was much more presentable than the 
Gray Rock crowd. We saw several nice-looking families, but 
all were in the fashions of three years ago. If they would 
only leave off their tremendous hoops, but hoops seem in 
the very zenith of their popularity. Mamma and I were the 
only women folks without the awkward, ungraceful cages. 
No doubt the people thought us hopelessly out of date. We 
have not worn them for a long time. Nothing looks funnier 
than a woman walking around with an immense hoop bare- 
footed. 60 

Mamma and I went several days ago to Tarrant in Hop- 
kins County [Tex.]. 61 The road ran part of the way over a 
lovely rolling prairie, dotted with clumps of trees and covered 
with the brilliant, yellow coreopsis in full bloom and gemmed 
with countless little mounds of bright green, like emeralds set 
in gold. Tarrant is the hottest looking, new little town right 

60 The hoop skirt was introduced hy Empress Eugenie at the French 
court in 1853. Originally of crinoline over many petticoats, the garment 
soon employed wire frames. In the 1850's the newspapers printed many 
stories of the embarrassing experiences of hoop skirt wearers on streets, 
in trains and street cars, and in church pews. In spite of ridicule the 
fashion persisted throughout the Civil War. Arthur C. Cole, The 
Irrepressible Conflict, 1850-1865 (New York, 1934) , 167. 

61 South, of Lamar County, Hopkins was organized in 1846 with Tar- 
rant, now a ghost town, as the county seat. Handbook of Texas, I, 835. 


out in the prairie not a tree. We tried to eat dinner at the 
roughest house and with the dirtiest people we have met yet. 
The table was set on a low, sunny gallery and half a dozen 
dirty, unshaven men took their seats in their shirt sleeves at 
the dirtiest tablecloth and coarsest ware. We saw the Negro 
girl wash the dishes at the duck pond right out in the yard. 
That was too much for me, but Mamma and Mr. Smith 
managed to swallow down something. 

Mr. Smith is hiring most of the hands out for the balance 
of the year. There is a great demand for them, and he can 
see that they are well taken care of. They have all gotten 
perfectly well since coming out here. 62 

The prairie we are living on is called a thicket prairie. 
There are clumps of dwarf dogwood, spice trees, and plums, 
tangled together with wild grape and other vines and alive 
with snakes. The plums are just in season, a sour, red variety 
just like the swamp wild plums, and are nice for jelly. The 
prairie is a mass of flowers, one variety covering it at a time. 
Before you realize it, that color has faded away and another 
has taken its place, and this succession of flowers and colors 
goes on until frost comes and spreads a brown sheet over all. 
There are many familiar garden flowers: blue salvia, coreop- 
sis, verbenas, larkspur, standing cypress, and now as far as 
the eye can reach the prairie is a mass of waving purple 
plumes, " French pinks," the natives call them. 

Jimmy has just brought in a beautiful little fawn and 
given it to me. I have always wanted one. They make such 
gentle, beautiful pets. This one's ears are solidly covered 
with ticks, and one of the Negroes is laboriously picking 
them off. 

We hear no news now but accounts of murders done and 
suffered by the natives. Nothing seems more common or less 
condemned than assassination. There have been four or five 
men shot or hanged within a few miles of us within a week. 
No one that we have seen seems surprised or shocked, but 
take it as a matter of course that an obnoxious person should 

62 Removal from the malarial condition of the swamps evidently ac- 
counted for the difference. 


be put to death by some offended neighbor. A few evenings 
ago a captain in the army had just reached home on a fur- 
lough three hours before when he was shot at through his 
window. He was killed and his wife dangerously wounded. 
The authorities are trying to find the men who did it. It is 
supposed to be one of his company who had vowed ven- 
geance against him. The other miscreants go unwhipped of 

[Lamar County, Tex.] July 16: The atmosphere has been 
most peculiar for several days. The air is cool and damp. 
The earth, the air, the sky, all are a dull dead grey. The sun 
seems to emit neither heat nor light, gleaming with a dim 
red glare like a blood-red moon. We thought at first it was 
one phase of the Texas climate, but the natives are as much 
puzzled by it as the strangers in the land. Some think it 
portenteous, a sign of great victories or defeats. Others think 
it the smoke from burning grain in Mississippi. No one really 
knows anything about it. 

We hear that we have won a glorious victory back of 
Vicksburg, repulsing one wing of Grant's army and opening 
communication with Vicksburg and replenishing her supplies. 
Also we hear of surprising the enemy in south Louisiana and 
capturing many men and stores. 63 We also hear that Gen. 
Lee's army is laying waste Pennsylvania. If only the Penn- 
sylvanians may feel some of the horrors of war and know the 
bitterness of defeat. We live in hopes that our day of tri- 
umph may come but we fear not in the near future. 

We spent yesterday with Mrs. Vaughn, Mrs. Smith's 
cousin and our nearest neighbor. She lives in a double log 
cabin with merely the necessaries of life, but it is a more 
comfortable home than most we have seen. Texas seems a 
hard land for women and children. They fly around and 
work like troopers while the men loll on the galleries and 
seemingly have nothing to do. Mamma cannot start on her 
search for a new home for a week yet, and it is disagreeable 
living here en famille with the Smiths, though Mrs. Smith is 

63 These rumors were false. 


kind and we should appreciate it. But their ways are not 
our ways. 

As we sat on the gallery tonight, gazing across the darken- 
ing prairie into the gleaming west, the very air was brilliant 
with fireflies. The fancy came that they were the eyes of the 
departed Indians, come to look again on their old hunting 
grounds, flashing through the night, looking with scowling, 
revengeful faces on the changes wrought by their old enemies, 
the palefaces. I fancy I can see the ghostly shapes one 
minute taking the form of an Indian brave with bended bow 
and flying arrow, the next fading into thin air leaving only 
the fiery eyes. 

We all spoke of going to Paris, twenty-five miles, to attend 
a large Baptist meeting returning the next day but concluded 
it was too far. 

[Lamar County, Tex.] July 26: Mamma, Jimmy, and 
Mr. Smith are all away. Jimmy left on Friday with a wagon 
for Navasota to buy salt and different kinds of merchandise. 
A long, lonely trip of two months. 64 We hated for him to 
have to go alone with only the Negroes. We can tell by the 
issue of his trip whether Friday is such an unlucky day. 

If Jimmy could have stayed here and attended the numer- 
ous religious meetings going on around us, I think he would 
surely have joined some church, and what a safeguard that 
would be to him, He was much impressed by one of the last 
sermons he heard and has been thinking earnestly and 
deeply. Jimmy always had a strong religious tendency. The 
poor little fellow is oft on a tiresome journey now. 

We went to Lydonia (?) 65 today to see Miss Mary Moran 
taken into the Presbyterian church. It was the first time I 
have witnessed their ordinance of baptism, and it did not 
seem a very solemn rite, Immersion, I think, is the true way. 

I had my first call from a Texas beau yesterday evening. 

64 A journey of more than 250 miles. On the Navasota River in 
southwestern Grimes County, Navasota was on the Houston and Texas 
Central Railroad and was therefore a supply point. 

65 Ladonia was a small community, settled in 1840, in southeastern 
Fannin County. 


A smooth-faced, rosy-cheeked, young dandy, dressed in the 
height of Paris fashion and dotingly proud of his jet-black 
imperial. Several of the elite of Blue's Prairie have called on 
us. I wonder, shall we look as old-fashioned as they after a 
year or two of prairie life? Even Blue's Prairie is looking 
lovely now. It is covered with a flower, looking like feathery, 
white plumes laced and tangled together with a yellow love 
vine and purple maypop vines. 

There are some most disquieting rumors believed by the 
despondent and chicken-hearted, but we do not give them 
credence. It is said both Vicksburg and Port Hudson have 
been taken, with a number of prisoners. 66 We have heard it 
affirmed and contradicted half a dozen times. We will wait 
to see Gen. Johnston's official report of such disaster before 
believing it. Unionism is rampant about here. There was a 
company of Jayhawkers for the Federal side raised in this 
county. Half of the militia have been drafted for six months, 
and oh, the moaning and bewailing of the feminine popu- 
lation. But I cannot be sorry for the militia. My sympathies 
are all with the soldiers in the field. 

[Lamar County, Tex.] July 29: Mamma returned this 
evening from a fruitless trip. She could find no place that 
would at all suit, and we may be here for months. How can 
we stand it! How foolish to distress myself for such a cause. 

Vicksburg is taken without a doubt. If our men had held 
out only one day longer, they might have been relieved, as 
Gen. Johnston fought the enemy the following day, in igno- 
rance of the fall of the city, taking 5,000 prisoners and 
winning a decided victory. But that is not an offset to the 
20,000 of our men said to have been captured at Vicksburg. 
How has the mighty fallen, and to give up on the Fourth 
of July to make it even worse. We wish they could have 
held on at least one day longer, but we know nothing of the 
hardships our soldiers have endured there in the last eight 

66 Vicksburg surrendered on July 4 after withstanding siege for approxi- 
mately fifty days. General Pemberton was severely criticized for sur- 
rendering on that particular day. Port Hudson capitulated on July 8, 
leaving the entire Mississippi in Federal hands. 


months. We are satisfied, however, that the Confederate 
soldiers held on as long as possible. The fall of Vicksburg 
makes us tremble for Texas. She can be invaded from so 
many points that Mamma knows not where to look for a 
place of greater safety. 

Our only hope is in Lee the Invincible. If he has only 
taken Washington or Philadelphia as we hear he has, we can 
stand the loss of our Gibraltar, but to lose it and gain nothing 
in return is insupportable. We will hope for the best. May 
God defend the right. 

Mamma saw Dr. and Mrs. Carson in Tyler. Both are in 
very bad health. Mamma fears that Dr. Carson has dropsy 
and that he will not recover, too sad a probability to think 
of. He is such a good, useful man, weighted with such re- 
sponsibilities. They are boarding and as far from being 
settled as we are. They have been traveling nearly ever 
since we saw them when they left Monroe. 

Mamma and Mrs. Carson were delighted to meet. I can 
imagine their animated conversation and comparison of ex- 
periences. Willy Carson has joined Mr. Matt Johnson's 
company. He is such a delicate boyish-looking fellow to act 
and suffer as a man. I think he is about Brother Walter's 
age. May the discipline strengthen instead of kill him as it 
does so many of our high-strung boys. 

We were saddened to hear of Capt. Harper's death, a gal- 
lant soldier so full of life and hope when we saw him last in 
Monroe. Though he had lost home and everything, he was 
as gay and bouyant as though everything was going on his 
way. He took a huge dose of morphine, given by mistake of 
the doctor for quinine. He went off to sleep at once, and 
they could never rouse him, though they worked over him 
all night and used the most cruel remedies as a last resort. 
So much worse than if he had fallen in battle. Now Mamma 
is anxious to take Sophie Harper, since she has only a step- 
mother. She thinks Mr. Valentine would be glad for her to 
have charge of her. She thinks of writing about it in a few 
days to Mr. Valentine and Mrs. Harper. Sophie would be a 
nice companion for Sister, who stands this life like a native 


and finds plenty to amuse her. She and Mrs. Smith are 
great chums. 

[Lamar County, Tex.] July 31: Mamma has been sick 
since her return. The long Jersey trips are very trying on her, 
but she is up this evening. Tomorrow we are going up to 
Paris with Mr. Smith to see if Mamma can get him off from 
militia duty. He is drafted to go off on Wednesday for six 
month's service. We do not see how Mamma can get on 
without him, and so she is anxious to get him detailed. Mrs. 
Smith is also anxious to get him off, but their eagerness is as 
nothing to Mr. Smith's. I never saw a man with such a 
dread of the army. 

The fruit that Mamma and Mr. Smith collected on their 
journey and they were most thoughtful is just out. We 
did so enjoy it. Our fare is not of the best. Mamma bought 
me a pair of $25 shoes, but unfortunately I cannot wear 
them. Not anything of a fit, and I must still cling to my 
calfskin chaussures, homeknit stockings, and brogans, some- 
thing different from the lace-like clock stockings and French 
slippers of the olden times. I miss nice things for my feet 
now more than anything. I feel so slovenly with these hor- 
rors on exhibition. But a truce to complaints. I might be 
dight out in a large hoop and bare feet. 

[Lamar County, Tex.] Aug. 3: We have been to Paris 
and returned and well did our errand speed. Mamma's elo- 
quent representation to Gen. Smith (a militia general) of her 
forlorn condition if Mr. Smith was taken away brought the 
general, a rough old fellow, over to her view of the case at 
once, and he readily promised to give him a discharge. Mam- 
ma's eloquence carried the day, for he impressed it on us all, 
but especially Mr. Smith, that it was entirely on Mamma's 
account that he was granted leave. Mamma's lovely face and 
winning manner stand her in good stead these days. Mrs. 
Smith does not like to think Mr, Smith's freedom is entirely 
due to Mamma, but he is a relieved and grateful man. 

Paris is a clean, pretty place in the edge of Blossom 


Prairie, clumps of trees and deep white sand in the streets. 67 
We went to church and saw a really nice-looking congrega- 
tion of refined-looking people. We all liked the place so well 
that Mamma would rent a place there, but it is too near the 
borderline, the first point for an invasion and right next to 
the Indian Nation. We do not wish to lose our scalps in ad- 
dition to everything else. We saw a large party of Indian 
men dashing through the town. They are nearly all Southern 
sympathizers, we hear. 68 We went shopping. There are 
several well-filled stores, but the prices are beyond anything. 
We saw a pretty light calico but Mamma could not afford it 
at $6 a yard. A penknife was very tempting, but who would 
give $25 for a little Yankee knife? Our nails will have to 
grow like eagle's claws before we can afford an extravagance 
of that kind. We did get a few articles, absolute essentials, 
and Mamma indulged me in a piece of extravagance a deck 
of playing cards at $5. They are a different kind from those 
the girls use out here, but I fancy they will afford us more 
amusement than the finest pair of cotton cards. 

A gentleman gave us a late Louisiana paper containing 
Mary Gustine's marriage on July 21. I know she was a 
beautiful bride, and our best wishes go with her for her future 
happiness. I wonder how Brother Coley will stand the loss 
of his sweetheart, his first love affair. Like most boys, he 
lost his heart to a girl several years the older fortunately a 
disease that never kills a boy of that age. 

The Baptist meeting has been going on in Paris for seven 
weeks, and sixty have joined that church. It seems the 
strongest church of this section. Sunday morning we heard 
a splendid sermon, the best since hearing Dr. Marshall preach 
two years ago. I wish Jimmy could have heard it. It was 

67 Originally called Pinhook, Paris was founded in 1839 and became 
the comity seat of Lamar County in 1844 Handbook of Texas, II, 334. 

68 These were probably Choctaws. The Choctaw Nation was located 
just across Red River from Paris. When the Federal Government 
practically abandoned Indian Territory in April, 1861, by withdrawing 
troops from Forts Washita, Arbuckle, Smith, and Cobb, many Indians, 
especially the Choctaws and Chickasaws, some of whom were slave 
owners, joined the Confederate Army. Foreman, A History of Okla- 
homa, 100-130. 


the first real Baptist sermon I ever really listened to. Have 
heard the preacher, Mr. Buckner, knows what he believes 
and is not afraid to preach it from the pulpit. 69 

We have made the acquaintance of another Texas gallant. 
Dr. Bywaters, introduced as a friend by Mr. McGleason, 
walked home with us from church. One thing in his favor he 
does not say " mile " for " miles " and he does not ignore 
the plural of " year/' 

[" Elysian Fields/ 5 Lamar County, Tex.] Aug. 10: Nearly 
the close of summer and we are still in our first Texas retreat. 
We have dubbed it " Elysian Fields/ 5 Mr. Smith has been 
away nearly a week looking for another location. No matter 
where we may go, we are almost sure to meet some of our 
old friends or acquaintances, for everybody about Monroe 
is moving out this way, we hear, scattering over Texas. How 
good the sight of a familiar face will be. I would feel like 
kissing nearly anybody I had ever seen before. 

If the Yankees are at Monroe as we hear today, our letters 
sent yesterday will never reach their owners. Mamma wrote 
asking Mr. Valentine to let her take Sophie. Mamma also 
wrote to Mrs. Wadley, but we think they must have moved 
on before this. How we long for news of all our friends. 

Our list of victories last month were all a mistake. Gen. 
Lee has recrossed into Virginia, and our march into Penn- 
sylvania seems to have been barren of results. We do not 
hold nor have we destroyed a single Northern city, as we so 
much hoped. A dark hour for the Confederacy. The loss of 
Vicksburg has stunned the whole country. It is a grievous 
blow, and there is great discouragement at least on this side 
of the Mississippi River. But the reaction will come. The 
people will rally to strike a more deadly blow, to fight till the 
last armed foe expires, to conquer or die. 

Mamma, Sister, and Johnny are just in from their round 
of investigation. Instead of renting Mrs. White's house they 
rented a book. The house was already taken, but she had 
quite a library of books that she would hire out for fifty cents 

69 Rev R. C. Buckner was pastor of the Baptist church on South 
Church btreet. Neville, History of Lamar County, 108. 


a week. She would not think of lending them. The book 
Mamma brought was a most worthless thing, but the en- 
gravings in it are fine. Mrs. White is an educated woman, 
lives in a nice house, and is well to do, but a regular skin- 
flint. She is living from day to day on the verge of the grave, 
suffering from some incurable complaint, and is still very 
eager to make money, extorting the last cent. She has one of 
our women hired to wait on her. She is a Yankee. That 
explains all. Mamma also bought an old backgammon box 
for the children and thinks she will buy a copy of Shake- 
speare, a very good one, for $14. We will then have what 
someone calls a good library, Shakespeare and the Bible. 

We look out tonight on a windy, stormy sky. Dark clouds 
go scudding by, and the wind whistles through our frail 
tenement. The boards have shrunken until daylight shines 
through. Lightning flashes continuously, thunder is rolling 
overhead, and the whole prairie is ablaze with the fireflies, 
weaving in and out like fairy shuttles. 

["Elysian Fields," Lamar County, Tex.] Aug. 16: We 
went to church this morning at a tumbledown schoolhouse 
called Liberty expecting to hear the funeral sermon of Mrs. 
Alexander, who was a near neighbor. The poor woman has 
been dead four months, and her husband married again six 
weeks after her death. But he says he is u determined to pay 
proper respect to dear Mary and so will have her funeral 
preached,'* with the new wife sitting decorously near to hear 
it. It was the oddest-looking crowd one could imagine, and 
the very funniest dressing we ever saw. My pen is powerless 
to describe it: one girl airy in pink tarleton and another 
sweltering in red woolen; high horn combs with long ribbon 
streamers waving from the top; immense hoops; and strand 
after strand of beads, all colors, wound around their necks. 
Many of the men were barefooted, and nearly all of their 
slouched wool hats were decorated with ribbons or an arti- 
ficial flower. There were few coats but many vests and a 
display of homemade knit galluses. It was a most unusual- 
looking crowd, all sitting on puncheons laid on supports, 
some of them constantly slipping down. 


When Johnny goes out to see the people on business, he 
always brings back some amusing anecdote. One man 
wanted to know what creek Milliken's Bend was on. Johnny 
was looking at a house with a view to renting it and asked 
the man how many rooms it had. "Why four," he said. 
"Two boarded up and the hall and gallery." The most 
common query addressed to Mamma is, " Don't you smoke? " 
and " How much do you charge for making that 'ar hat? " 
We have made some pretty plaits of wheat and rye straw 
and hats for several of the girls around. Johnny, passing the 
place where Morine is hired, saw her sitting at the table with 
the white folks. She will be ruined by such people. 

A Mrs. Slaughter has spent the day with us. She is a 
pleasant lady, but quite on the style of Mrs. Manlove, whom 
she knows and heartily dislikes. Capt. Manlove is her cousin. 
She once lived in Vicksburg, and she and Mamma have many 
mutual acquaintances. 

Miss Mary Moran, Mrs. Smith's niece, is home again, and 
Mrs. Smith is at Mr. Vaughn's to weave the cloth spun by 
the servants. Mrs. Smith claims half for the weaving, though 
Mamma could hire it woven for four bits a day. It will make 
Mamma's goods come to about $4 a yard, while Mrs. Smith 
will get hers at the rate of fifty cents. Mamma shall not try 
it again. It is disagreeable for the two families to be forced 
to live together, and we will be thankful when we get a 
house to ourselves. 

A long letter from Sarah Wadley with a good deal of news, 
but principally about the staff, Gen. Walker's command 
having again camped near them. Our troops are still at 
Monroe, and there is some attempt being made to fortify 
the town. The Wadleys will not move until October, and the 
Barrs are still there. Miss Sarah should be high on our list 
of friends since she is the first to write. I have just written 
to Mrs. Hardison and Annie Amis and enclosed both in 
Mamma's business letter to Mr. Guisenberg. 

["Elysian Fields," Lamar County, Tex.] Aug. SO: We 
are at home again after an absence of ten days on a visit to 
poor Mrs. Carson at Tyler. She feels her husband's death 


most deeply and has grieved herself sick. We found her very 
ill and looking dreadful, but when we left we had the hap- 
piness of seeing her much improved. Her depression affects 
her health, and she is such a frail, helpless person. 

Dr. Carson died suddenly, though he had been ill for some 
months. He seemed not to have realized the gravity of his 
situation and died without leaving any instructions or allud- 
ing to his death in any way. A good and upright man has 
gone to his reward. He was the best man and the best Chris- 
tian I have ever known and had led a most helpful and 
blameless life. Many will mourn his death, and we have lost 
a friend tried and true. His life had been one long prepara- 
tion to meet his Saviour, and so Death could not affright 
him. Mrs. Carson is so desolate and friendless. She has set 
her heart on our two families living together. She has al- 
ready rented a two-room cottage with all necessary out- 
buildings about a mile from Tyler, and she says by taking 
the two kitchen rooms for the boys and for a dining room we 
can get on all right. Considering that we have no furniture, 
it looks like four rooms would house us. 

The children on both sides are delighted with the idea. 
Jimmy, Eddie, and Katie Carson, and Jimmy, Johnny, and 
Little Sister will fill a small house, but it is the only arrange- 
ment that up to this time has seemed at all feasible. And 
surely we can all get on peaceably together. Jimmy and 
Eddie are charming boys and willing to do anything to get 
Johnny and Jimmy with them. Jimmy is a splendid-looking 
boy. He is getting over his extreme shyness and is trying to 
take Joe and Willy's place. Dr. Carson's place no one can 
ever fill. He has left such immense business interests with 
only the overseers to take charge of them and several hun- 
dred Negroes to be housed, clothed, and made self-supporting. 

We boarded in Tyler with a Mr. Morrill and had to pay 
$44 for the privilege and $15 for feed for the mules. Mrs. 
Carson's bill at the same place will be stunning. 

I must record the first instance of liberality that has come 
under our notice since entering the state. The first night 
after leaving Tyler we stayed at a Mr. Fowler's, a very nice 


place, and they did not charge us a cent. But we were picked 
up the next night. We lost our way and traveled until 8 
o'clock when we asked to stay at a pretty, large, white house, 
white only on the outside. I despair of giving any idea of 
the dirt. We tried to eat without seeing or tasting and to 
sleep without touching the bed. They gave us coffee, a horrid 
decoction of burnt wheat and milk without sugar, in saucers 
and water in the halves of broken bottles. The table was set 
in the dirtiest of kitchens with a dirt floor and half a dozen 
half-naked little Negroes and numberless cats and dogs 
scampering through the room and under the table. The 
rafters were festooned with old hoop skirts and worn-out, 
rough boots. It surpassed any place we have been in yet. 
We certainly had found the dark corner of the Confederacy. 

We lost our way again one evening and traveled until way 
in the night, through a wild woods road dotted with stumps. 
But it was cool and bright moonlight and really more pleas- 
ant than a stuffy dirty room, but the mules and Hoccles did 
not enjoy it. 

Our next adventure was not so pleasant. The mules were 
rushing down a long, rocky, red hill Hoccles is a wretched 
driver and lets them do pretty much as they please when 
crash! over went the Jersey, and we rolled out on the ground, 
along with a confused medley of baskets, bundles, palmetto, 
corn, bonnets, and boxes. Fortunately no serious damage 
was done, and after a few repairs to the Jersey we journeyed 
on. Hoccles is a right good tinker for wagons. But our 
troubles were not yet over. The mules were trotting briskly 
along through the white sand, Mamma was asleep sitting in 
the foot of the Jersey, and I was knitting away, when there 
was a sudden cluck and tearing sound. I looked up to see 
the whole top of our devoted Jersey folding back like a fan. 
While Hoccles was nodding in the sultry heat, we had run 
into a tree and broken the top nearly entirely off. Mamma 
gave a groan and exclaimed, " Now Hoccles, just run us over 
a stump and break the wheels and maybe you will be satis- 
fied. You have broken the bottom racing down the hill. But 
that would not do you. You had to go and break the top. 


Now run over a rock and break the wheels and you will be 
fixed! " I could not help laughing. It was funny in spite of 
our bad plight, and poor Hoccles looked so humble and 
apologetic. We thought he would be forced to take the 
entire top off, but he was equal to the emergency. With 
hammer, nail, and strings, he patched it up so it lasted until 
we reached home. But it is a most forlorn, lopsided affair. 
If we just had our own good carriage, but we hear it is a 
smallpox ambulance now. 

Our last day we just missed driving over the largest rattle- 
snake, stretched across the road basking in the sun. It was 
larger than my arm and had twelve rattles. That frightened 
us most of all. It might have glided into the carriage as we 
drove over it. 

When we reached home we found Mrs. Smith's family in 
great distress. Her cousin, Mrs. Vaughn, was dead after a 
short illness. Mrs. Vaughn had been to see us the evening 
before we left, seemingly in perfect health. She leaves six 
little children. Her husband and the two older children, Kitty 
and Bobby, were away when death came. She was so cheerful 
and full of life. " Verily in the midst of life we are in death/' 

A long letter from Julia Street was awaiting me, giving an 
account of Mary's marriage and their life in Camden. She 
says she hates Arkansas and wants to come to Texas. I am 
sure she will hate this state ten times more. If she is a wise 
girl, she will stay where she is as long as possible. The more 
we see of the people, the less we like them, and every refugee 
we have seen feels the same way. They call us all renegades 
in Tyler. It is strange the prejudice that exists all through 
the state against refugees. We think it is envy, just pure 
envy. The refugees are a nicer and more refined people than 
most of those they meet, and they see and resent the dif- 
ference. That is the way we flatter ourselves. 

We saw Mr. Wylie on our way up and were nearly glad 
enough to kiss him, though he was never more than an 
acquaintance, but the sight of a familiar face was so pleasant. 

[" Elysian Fields," Lamar County, Tex.] Sept. 1: Johnny 
started yesterday with one of the wagons to Monroe, a 


month's trip, but he went off in high spirits. A letter from 
Jimmy at Jefferson [Texas] 70 on the thirty-first of July, just 
as he was leaving for Navasota. It is almost time for his 
return, and Mamma is anxious for him to get back. She 
wants the wagons to move the Negroes before they hear that 
the Yankees are coming in from the North, as it is rumored, 
and before they have a chance to make a break for the 
Federal lines again. 

There are quite a number of Yankee prisoners at Tyler, 
captured while in command of black troops. 71 It does seem 
like they ought to be hanged, and they are so impudent too. 
The detestable creatures! 

There is a rumor that Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, and 
Tennessee have applied for admission into the Union again. 
Of course, we know it is a base fabrication, but many of the 
natives believe it firmly. They will believe anything against 
Louisiana. They seem to hate that state, and we would not 
give one Louisiana parish for half of Texas. 

Our pet rumor is again in the air that France, Spain, and 
England have recognized the Confederacy. Oh, that it were 

Mamma and I are busy altering my dresses. The one Mrs. 
Carson gave me will be a comfort, the only thick dress I have. 

We hear that Mrs. White, from whom we rented books and 
also bought one or two, has leprosy. It makes us shiver to 
think of it, and our handling her things and Patsy nursing 
her. We can only hope it is another big story, as it is too 
late to take precautions. 

70 In south central Marion County, Jefferson was founded in 1886. 
Located on Big Cypress Creek which empties into Red River, Jefferson 
became the principal river port in Texas. During the Civil War a meat 
cannery and a shoe factory were located there. Handbook of Texas', I, 

71 These were probably prisoners captured by Walker's division in an 
expedition from Delhi, La., to Goodrich's Landing late in June, 1863. 
Walker's report stated: " This fort or mound, near Goodrich's Landing, 
was garrisoned by negro troops for the purpose of raiding and destroying 
everything that could assist any of our troops. They devoted their time, 
headed by their officers (white men) , in burning private residences, 
corn-cribs, cotton, etc." He captured 1,200 Negro troops and twelve 
white officers. Blessington, Walker's Texas Division, 114. 


["Elysian Fields," Lamar County, Tex.] Sept. 3: Mam- 
ma and I are busy remodeling a secondhand green silk. I 
will be forced to take off mourning this winter since I can 
get nothing black to wear. We are thankful for any kind 
of cloth. 

Miss Mary Moran knows so many old songs, ballads sung 
by our grandmothers " Barbara Allen," " Willy over the 
Lea," and suchlike. She sings for our amusement nearly 
every night. 

["Elysian Fields," Lamar County, Tex.] Sept. 11: Jimmy 
is back after an absence of seven weeks, and now as soon as 
we can collect up our scattered goods and chattels we will 
be off to fresh fields and pastures new. Jimmy's trip proved 
a grand success. He met with little bad luck and made more 
than Mamma expected, but alas, he brought nothing that 
we sent for in the way of clothes. And clothes are a subject 
of vital interest, as our raiment is waxing thin and prices 
are so enormous that it is difficult to get barest necessaries. 
He did bring me one pair of $30 peg shoes, regular clod- 
hoppers, but I expect I shall be glad to have them yet. 

Jimmy is looking very well, much improved by the trip. 
He met and heard from several of our friends. He saw Mrs. 
Tom Scott and Amelia near Shreveport, moving to Winns- 
boro [Tex.]. Mrs. Scott has lost most of her Negroes. They 
ran to the Yankees from Monroe when she started to move 
them. She has only three men left. He met Mr. Curry and 
got Ashburn's watch from him. 

The Federals made only a short stay at Monroe, but were 
busy at the work of destruction. Would like to know how 
our friends have fared. 

Our high hopes of recognition by the European powers are 
again dashed to the ground. If they just would not start 
such rumors, raising expectations only to be disappointed. 

We paid a three-day visit to Mrs. Slaughter up in the 
famous Union neighborhood, Honey Grove, 72 where they say 
there is only one Confederate family. There, everyone you 

72 A small community in east central Fannin County, settled in 1824, 
and named for a grove of bee trees. 


talk to says of course we will be conquered. In Louisiana 
one rarely heard such an idea expressed. 

We attended a large Baptist meeting in the vicinity 
several times. The interest and excitement were intense. 
There were often fifty mourners crowded around the altar 
and the church crowded to suffocation. Never saw so many 
men in church before, and we have not seen so many men 
at one time since the war commenced, unless they were sol- 
diers in uniform. The scene at night was most striking: the 
anxious, excited faces, crowding and surging around the 
altar; the exalted, earnest mien of the minister; the groans 
and shrieks and wild prayers of the mourners, mingling with 
the shouts and hallelujahs of the newly professed; while high 
over all rises the thunder of a triumphant hymn, borne on 
many voices. In the background gleam the eager, curious 
faces of the lookers-on, row on row. A scene to thrill and 
interest anyone, but I must take my religion more quietly. 
It was a country-looking congregation with a sprinkling of 
nice people. Short dresses, large hoops, and top-knotted sun- 
bonnets, the style. 

Belle Slaughter is to be married very soon to a widower 
with three children. Her present home does not seem a 
happy one. 

["Elysian Fields/' Lamar County, Tex.] Sept. 14: Our 
affairs are in a state of confusion worse confounded. All our 
plans were nipped in the bud by Mr. Smith's being taken 
to camp to serve in the militia in spite of Gen. Smith's detail. 
Everything is at a standstill with us. Mrs. Smith insulted 
the men who came for Mr. Smith, and so they waylaid him 
and took him off to camp, not allowing him even to come 
by home and get a change of clothes. Mrs. Smith was deadly 
angry, and an ironical message from one of Mr. Smith's 
captors has made her rabid. Her abuse of everything and 
everybody in Texas is eloquent. We were to have started to 
Tyler. Mr. Smith was going to Shreveport on important 
business for Mamma, Mrs. Smith and Miss Mary were going 
to live at Mr. Vaughn's and take charge of his children, but 
all our plans have come to naught. 


I hear the crickets and see the stars so the storm must 
have passed us by, and we will not sleep under a dripping 

["Elysian Fields," Lamar County, Tex.] Sept. 1 9: A 
most pleasant surprise this morning. Uncle Johnny, his wife, 
and baby arrived at our Retreat. They are fleeing from the 
Yankees in Arkansas 7S and are on their way to Austin, where 
Uncle Johnny hopes to edit a newspaper. They came 150 
miles out of their route to see us. His wife, Kate, is a sweet, 
innocent-looking woman. She looks about sixteen, though 
she is twenty-one. The baby, Sally, is the tiniest mite of a 
creature. Texas air will have to do much for her before she 
gets a strong hold on life. We will be here several weeks 
longer, and this new family will be a great pleasure. We can 
at least talk to the newcomers, and Mamma and I have 
about exhausted all our well-worn topics. 

Mamma thinks now affairs are entrain to get Mr. Smith 
again detailed by paying $500 and swearing she is in need of 
his services. Mamma went Thursday all the way to Charles- 
ton, the militia camp, to get Mr. Smith released. She met 
there her Paris friend, Gen. Smith, who was very polite and 
who really seemed to wish to do her a kindness. He will do 
all in his power to get Mr. Smith off. He is the second man 
we have met in Texas who seemed to have good will for 
refugees and sympathy for their troubles. If the officers had 
any sense, they could see that Mamma is forced to have 
someone to manage for her. Mamma and Miss Mary saw a 
funny set at Charleston. 

We have had a succession of callers recently. The un- 
adulterated natives are all eager to hire Negroes. There is a 
furor for them. All the old ladies in the county are falling 
sick just to get their " Old Men " to hire a servant. Who can 
blame them after their years of grinding toil for seeking a 
little rest? 

78 General Price evacuated Little Rock, August 5, 1863, and withdrew 
to Camden. Military stores were moved from Camden later that month. 
Little Rock fell September 10, 1863. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas in 
Wwr and Reconstruction, 1861-1874 (Little Rock, 1926) , 218, 


Uncle Johnny has given us several new books, at least new 
to us, as we have had nothing recent since the war com- 
menced. A Strange Story No Name, and The Step-Sister. 
Then, he has quite a number of magazines, and I promise 
myself a treat of reading them, something I do not already 
know by heart, 

[" Elysian Fields/' Lamar County, Tex.] Sept. SO: Uncle 
Johnny was at Richmond, Va., a month ago and heard from 
nearly every member of the family. How thankful we are 
to know that they are all alive, though perhaps in distress. 
My Brother was neither killed nor hurt in the Pennsylvania 
campaign. Uncle Bo is as usual in fine health and spirits 
and is under Bragg. Dr. Buckner and Brother Coley are also 
with Gen. Bragg, and Aunt Laura is at Chattanooga within 
reach of Dr. Buckner. How* glad we are that she is com- 
fortably settled and not suffering all the discomforts of life 
in Texas. We have not a clear idea of where Mr. Miller is, 
but he is trying to get an appointment as chief of cavalry 
somewhere. Aunt Sarah is at Bladen Springs, Ala. Poor 
little Horace is dead, a most bitter blow to his mother. He 
was her favorite. She was keeping house at Cooper's Well 
when the Yankees marched on Jackson. She just escaped on 
the last train with only their wearing clothes. Everything 
else was destroyed by the Yankees, house and furniture 
burned, piano hacked to pieces, and the portraits torn to 
shreds. Mr. Miller also lost all his Negroes but fourteen, 
and they were saved by the fidelity of one of their number. 
It looks like the whole family is to be ruined, root and 
branch. Every member of it is broken up and all the women 
and children fleeing from the Yankees, while all the men and 
half-grown boys are in the army. We are thankful Mamma 
has saved most of Uncle Bo's Negroes, and if we can keep 
what we have now we can help the others. But I have a 
strong presentment that we shall yet lose all that we have 
and be compelled to labor with our hands for our daily bread. 

74 A novel by Bulwer-Lytton, published in 1862. 
76 A novel by the popular American novelist, William Wilkie Collins 
(1824r-80) . 


Mrs. Smith had moved up to Mr. Vaughn's just in time to 
give room for Uncle Johnny. How glad we are to have a 
house to ourselves once more. Mrs. Smith was very kind in 
leaving everything we needed for housekeeping. It is sur- 
prising how little one can get on with. We seem to have 
almost nothing but servants, and yet we are comfortable, 
comparatively so. 

I have finished knitting those tiresome gloves and can 
read with a clear conscience. Fingered and gauntlet gloves 
are a trouble to knit. 

[" Elysian Fields/' Lamar County, Tex.] Sept. 22: The 
news today is discouraging. Charleston [S. C.] has fallen, 76 
Louisiana and Arkansas are to be entirely deserted by our 
troops, and all the available forces of the Trans-Mississippi 
Department are to be concentrated at Tyler, Texas. If 
Charleston has fallen, it is because it was not in the power 
of man to hold it. Everything possible had been done, and 
it had made a most gallant defense. No disgrace can sully 
the name of its Gen. Beauregard, as the name of Lovell and 
Pemberton have been darkened. 

Kate and I have been keeping house for the last two days, 
ably assisted by Little Sister. Mamma and Uncle Johnny 
are off to Honey Grove, Bonham, 77 and we know not where 
else on the troublesome business of securing Mr. Smith's 
release. As soon as this is effected, we only await Johnny's 
return to take up our line of march for more hospitable 
regions and fairer shores. When we are finally away from 
this land of misery. 

76 Although Charleston was being attacked by the Federal Navy, it 
had not fallen. 

77 Bonham, named for the Alamo hero James Butler Bonham, became 
the county seat of Fannin County in 1843. At this time Bonham was 
the headquarters of General Henry E. McCulloch, who was in command 
of the northeast portion of Texas. Mrs. Stone met General McCulloch 
at Monroe when he was with Walker's division. He had, in the mean- 
time, been transferred on July 12 from Walker's division then at Alex- 
andria, La., to General Magruder in Texas, and then assigned at Bon- 
ham. Blessington, Walkers Texas Division, 127-28. 


The night shall be filled with music 
And the cares, that infest the day, 
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, 
And as quietly steal away. 

How I long for a glimpse at Brokenburn these pleasant 
autumn days radiant in flowers and crowned with fruit, the 
grassy yard and tall oaks, the clump of sassafras changing 
now to bright crimson, and the fragrant sweet gum showering 
down its leaves of gold, the flower garden sparkling across 
the grass, its many kinds of fall flowers gay in the mellow 
September sun, and the wide fields stretching away, white 
with cotton and vocal with the songs of the busy pickers. 
Shall we ever see it so again? 

[" Elysian Fields," Lamar County, Tex.] Sept. 26: Noth- 
ing to record. Mamma is still working for Mr. Smith's recall. 
We are reading, sewing, and taking walks through the numer- 
ous little prairie paths, with the thick growing vegetation like 
a low wall on each side and frequent snakes gliding across. 
Novels are a great boon in such desert places of life. " We 
will live with a hope of better days dawning " and resign 
ourselves to the inevitable. . . . 

["Elysian Fields," Lamar County, Tex.] Oct. 2: Mamma 
has gone to Paris on business. Kate and Uncle Johnny are 
in their room, Sister and Sally [?] are taking an afternoon nap, 
and there is nothing for me to do but write. Last Monday 
Kate and I, on shopping cares intent, wended our way to 
Paris, Uncle Johnny accompanying us as driver, groom, and 
gentleman-in-waiting. We enlivened the way with " gibe and 
jest and merry song " and reached there without accident. 
We took our way at once to the stores and soon managed to 
spend several hundred dollars for almost nothing, but the 
articles were indispensable and I bought at any price. But 
I must confess, on getting home, Mamma did not like a thing 
I bought, and most will be returned if possible and the rest 
kept under protest. I am a poor shopper and must have 
execrable taste. The $95 dress I bought Mamma is ugly. 
But it was the only piece of woolen goods in town, and 


Mamma has nothing warm for winter. Through with our 
shopping we went to Mrs. Buckner's hotel for dinner to be 
stared out of countenance by a score of native cavaliers. 
Kate and I occupied the same room and Uncle Johnny had 
to find lodging where he could. 

We got a late start next morning with a tired horse and 
in a drizzling rain, and we had not gone two miles before 
our bad luck caught up with us. Uncle Johnny took the 
wrong road, and we soon found it out and urged him to turn 
around. He avowed his horror of anything like a backward 
movement and kept on his chosen way, thinking it would 
lead into the right road. We traveled on for several miles, 
leaving home farther and farther away, until at last our 
united persuasions induced him to turn and cut across the 
country instead of heading straight for Arkansas, as we were 
doing. After a wearisome ride thorough stubborn thickets 
and hogwallow prairie, we at last reached the Paris road and 
went on rejoicing, but our troubles were just beginning. A 
slow pattering rain set in and the buckshot prairie soil grew 
heavy and more heavy, and our gallant grey was visibly 
tired. We got out of the Jersey in the pouring rain to cross 
Sulphur Creek, the bridge like most Texas bridges being only 
a trap for the unwary. With wet heads and muddy feet, we 
climbed in again, congratulating ourselves that we would 
soon be at home. Vain hope. Night came on apace, wrapped 
in her sable mantle and unbrightened by a star, and we were 
still four miles from our own hearthstone with a horse only 
able to drag on in a slow walk. Again we took the wrong 
road and wandered off on what looked in the uncertain light 
like a boundless prairie with not a house or road in sight. 
Again as in the morning we begged Uncle Johnny to turn 
back to the right road, but true to his expressed principles 
he refused. We journeyed on, leaving the horse to find his 
way and straining our eyes to discern a light, but the only 
lights were those shining up through the tangled grass, the 
countless glowworms with ther gleaming crests. At last 
plodding along in the Egyptian darkness, the horse gave out 
entirely, and bon gre mal gre, we were forced to camp out. 

We picketed out the poor horse and wrapped ourselves in 


bolts of calico and woolen, for we had not a wrap of any 
kind and it had grown very chilly. Crouching in the Jersey, 
we resigned ourselves to sweet slumber, but nature's kind 
restorer, balmy sleep, was safely sheltered in warm home- 
steads and was not to be coaxed out on the bleak cold prairie. 
Twisting and turning we wore the hours away until we dis- 
covered that the horse was off picket, and such a chase as 
Uncle Johnny had to catch him, while we had visions of 
wandering lost on the prairie for days. As soon as the first 
tints of day crimsoned the east, Uncle Johnny set off for 
home to bring relief to two distressed damsels. The horse 
was too spent to take us all home. How we laughed at the 
figure Uncle Johnny presented when he started off with a 
cushion for a saddle. Kate and I at once went to sleep. 
Jimmy found us cuddled down in the bottom of the Jersey 
fast asleep when several hours later he came to our relief 
with a fresh horse. We reached home at last just before 
dinner, two forlorn-looking wights and very hungry. 

["Elysian Fields/* Lamar County, Tex.] Oct. 8: The 
last few days have been full of interest. First, Johnny re- 
turned only last night, and this opens the gates of release 
from this region of sin and woe. We think we can get off on 
Monday. Uncle Johnny has been awaiting only Johnny's 
return to move on, and they will start on their long journey 
on Saturday over 300 miles. Thus Johnny's arrival has 
been the signal trumpet calling us all to horse and away. 

A letter from Julia in which she says My Brother was 
twice severely wounded in his right arm in the battle of 
Gettysburg. 78 He has recovered and is with his command 
but has lost the use of his right hand. We are truly thankful 
it is no worse. If we could only hear all that has happened 
to him since seeing him last, but we know so little. Poor 
fellow, this is his fifth wound and the most severe of all. We 
so hope he can get a furlough this fall. It worries me to hear 
of Tom Manlove's frolicking about, getting married and 
enjoying himself in every way, getting all the honor, while 

78 July l-S, 1863. 


My Brother, who is worth ten of him, gets only the hard 
work of the camp and the wounds. As the Psalmist says, 
"Promotion cometh neither from the East nor from the 
West." But I wish it would come from the powers that be. 
I can write and think myself into a fever about My Brother. 

Julia is still at Camden. All wagons have been impressed 
to remove government stores, and so they cannot get away. 
She heard through Robert Norris, who wrote asking news of 
his aunt, that Uncle Bo is well and is now a 1st lieutenant. 
We are so glad of his promotion. Not a word of Brother 
Coley, and we are very anxious about him. Joe Carson is 
regimental colorbearer, a dangerous post. Julia sends much 
pleasant nonsense and flattering speech from herself and 
Carrie Lowry and directions for a new headdress direct from 
Nashville. It is called " the Rebel," and we shall make one 
as soon as feasible. 79 

Johnny came through Tyler. Mrs. Carson is established 
in her house, is quite ill, and is worrying herself worse in 
looking for Mamma to come on. She is more than ever 
determined on the plan. Mrs. Col. Buckner and two of her 
children died recently in Tyler. A sweet, bright woman, one 
of our neighbors out on the river. Her death is sad, so far 
from home. I think I could not rest buried in this strange, 
unfriendly land She leaves one little girl and her husband 
who is somewhere in the service. 

Johnny saw a gentleman who had seen Dr. Nailor in 
Vicksburg. He said that Dr. Nailor seemed nearly crazy 
and that he had lost everything and was then trying to get 
a horse to ride on ten miles in the country to see his daughter 
Kate, who was very ill. How my heart aches for them all. 
If I could only see dear Kate, my first and best friend. I 
pray that God may spare her life and that we may meet 

Johnny gives a dreadful account of affairs in and around 
Delhi and Monroe. Most of the citizens remaining boast 

79 The Southern Illustrated News carried a column of correspondence 
between " Secessia " and " Refugitta " in which " Secessia " wrote from 
Baltimore of fashions and hair styles beyond the blockade. Massey, 
Ersatz in- the Confederacy, 96. 


of being Unionists and carry on a most profitable trade with 
Vicksburg. The Yankee cavalry came out to Monroe by in- 
vitation, and a number of citizens signed a petition asking 
them to come out and drive away our soldiers still there. 
This is too disgraceful to be true. Then, a great number of 
Louisianians have deserted. My cheek crimsons as I write 
this of our own beloved state, but I cannot believe that she 
has brought her name to be a disgrace and reproach to her 
loyal children. 

Johnny went to see Mrs. Savage. She is quite disgusted 
with life in Texas but speaks of moving on to Tyler to be 
near Mamma and Mrs. Carson. We certainly hope she will. 
The Wadleys have changed their plans and will attempt the 
trip to Georgia, though they risk losing everything in crossing 
the river. 

Too tired to write of our last trip to Honey Grove and that 
disgusting Dr. P., the blue man but n'importe. 

[" Refugee Ranch," Tyler, Tex.] Oct. 29: We have been 
at Tyler 80 scarcely long enough to feel settled, and the first 
thing is a grand disturbance that threatens all our plans. 

It seems there is a great prejudice existing here against 
the unfortunate refugees, a feeling strong in Mr. Kaiser's 
school that made Jimmy and Eddie Carson very unpopular. 
There was no open outbreak, however, until Jimmy and 
Johnny were entered as pupils. For several days the dis- 
affected could find no open cause of offense, and our boys, 
perfectly unsuspecting, rode, walked, hunted, and marched 
together perfectly happy to renew their old friendships and 
not dreaming they were making enemies. But all this was 
the head and front of their offending. When they added to 
this " wearing gold watch chains and black broadcloth " a 
slender little strand of gold and a secondhand suit of clothes 
the Tyler boys could stand no more, and they rose in their 

80 Tyler, named for President John Tyler, became the county seat of 
Smith County when it was organized in 1846. By 1860 Smith County 
had a population of 12,392 whites and 4,882 slaves. Tyler became an 
important supply point during 1863, having a commissary, an iron 
foundry, and an ammunition plant. Handbook of Texas, II, 627 and 814. 


wrath to put down those " refugee upstarts/' most unaffected 
little fellows. They opened hostilities by sticking pins in 
Jimmy and Johnny at church during the prayer. Whereat 
Johnny was so enraged that he challenged the boy to come 
out of the church at once and fight, but the boy excused 
himself as he had a lady with him. They made an appoint- 
ment to meet the next day and have a regular fisticuffs. The 
boy failed to keep the promise, and Jimmy denounced the 
act at school as ungentlemanly. The fuss blew over without 
coming to blows, the boys agreeing not to speak to each 
other, and they thought everything was settled. But the 
father of the boy came to school very angry and told Mr. 
Kaiser that unless Jimmy Stone was dismissed from school 
all the other boys would be taken away. Several boys wore 
pistols to school today, and they had formed a plan to mob 
Jimmy last night, but as I was with him they put it off. 

We knew nothing of all this until Mr. Kaiser came over 
this evening to advise Mamma and Mrs. Carson to keep the 
boys inside the yard and to make Jimmy Carson take off the 
chain and put on rough clothes. Mr. Kaiser has acted a very 
cowardly part. The boys have been taken from school, and 
Mamma and Mrs. Carson are trying to get a private tutor 
for them. Jimmy Stone was studying hard since he knows 
his school days are short. Mr. Kaiser is a time-server. 

I took a charming ride on Jimmy Carson's horse, accom- 
panied by most of the boys. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Oct. SO: The Tyler boys are trying to force 
Jimmy Carson into a fight. Half a dozen of them are going 
armed for him, and we are very anxious. Mamma and Mrs. 
Carson have made our boys promise they will not be first to 
start a row. They restrain themselves but they are boiling 
with rage. Mamma will not let Jimmy go to church as she 
hears the Tyler boys intend mobbing him, and Jimmy is in 
a dreadful state of mind. He says they will all call him a 
coward. We do not care what these rowdy roughs call our 
boys, just so they do not all get into a free fight with pistols. 
If it was only fisticuff, we would let them fight it out, Mrs. 
Carson went to see Mr. Williams, the father of the ring- 


leader, and we hope her pacific representations to him will 
calm the excitement. 

Jimmy Stone has behaved as well as a boy could, with 
firmness but moderation. I do not think he has even been 
angry until tonight, when Mamma forbid his going to church 
unless she or I went with him. And he has not put on a 
pistol until this morning, though he has known for several 
days that half a dozen boys are wearing pistols to " do him 
up/' as they say. The entire household is wrought up and 
Jimmy is furious. He says he intends to shoot down the first 
boy tomorrow who says a harsh word to him. Mrs. Carson 
is a strong member of the peace party and has forbidden 
either of her boys to go to Tyler on any pretext whatever. 
This restraint chafes the boys extremely but is a most neces- 
sary one, excited and angry as all the boys are. Johnny and 
Eddie had been wearing pistols days before we knew there 
was any trouble. How little we can know what is in the 
heart of a boy. Here we were, so pleased with their innocent 
sports, thinking them absorbed in their marbles and horses 
and marching around, when every boy was expecting a 
deadly encounter and burning with hatred for his enemies. 
We were praising Johnny for his devotion to study when lie 
insisted on going to school one day when Mamma thought 
him too unwell. We found out afterwards they were expect- 
ing a battle royal that day and Johnny had an appointment 
to fight. I hope Mr. Kaiser, for his cowardly truckling in 
dismissing Jimmy without cause, will lose his school. 

I am glad it is a general refugee quarrel instead of being 
confined to Jimmy. Edward Levy and George Grissman, 
refugee boys, have both had to leave school. 

The house is filled with Mrs. Carson's lawyer and over- 
seers. She is having her affairs arranged for the first time 
since Dr. Carson's death. 

Mamma has been busy remodeling and making bonnets. 
She has excellent ideas on the subject, and we tell her a first- 
class milliner was spoiled when she turned to other pursuits. 
Her bonnet is quite a triumph, a regular " skyscraper " of 
straw and silk. She finished mine today, a pretty mixture of 


black velvet and cherry. It is the same I sported at Monroe 
in uniform with Julia Barr and Shirley Crith [?], but it is 
much improved by the addition of the bright color. I have 
been forced to take off black. None to be bought. 

I am still on the weary treadmill of work, work, work that 
commenced at Monroe. Our sewing seems endless. We have 
been hard at it for nearly six months and the end is not yet. 
Mamma bought two calicoes for me, one at $55 and the other 
$66. One is made and I am sewing on the last one. We still 
have two drill dresses to make over. Jimmy is without winter 
underclothes, and we cannot buy a piece of woolen. We fear 
in such thin clothes he will take pneumonia again. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Nov. 1: We are just from church. Jimmy, 
Johnny, and I did not go con amore. There are more pleas- 
ant things than toiling a mile through heavy sand, up hill 
and down dale too dark to see the road beneath you or the 
sky above, sitting for an hour listening to an indifferent 
sermon, and being gazed at by a battery of hostile eyes. 
Jimmy was determined to go and I would go too, though he 
did not want me. Last night he and Johnny went alone, and 
during the services someone cut his bridle all to pieces and 
stole his martingale and blanket. A crowd of boys followed 
them after church, talking at them all the time. They know 
now the boys are armed and so did not attack them. The 
rowdies followed us tonight and I saw them for the first time. 
They are real nice-looking lads. What a pity they are not 
gentlemen. Jimmy Carson is deeply mortified that he is 
compelled to desert a friend in need. 

Miss Sally Grissman called to see us a short time ago. She 
is quite pretty, a Creole, piquante and petite. They are from 
Assumption Parish S1 and have been here nearly a year. Mrs. 
Prentice from Joe's Bayou and Mrs. Hull from St. Louis 
called yesterday. Mrs. Hull is a delightful little lady with 
the prettiest face and sweetest manner. Her husband is a 
colonel. He has just returned from Missouri. He went in to 
raise a regiment, of course in disguise, and brought out four 
hundred men, a most dangerous undertaking since it meant 

81 South of Baton Kouge. 


the death of a spy if he had been captured. Mr. and Mrs. 
Prentice have a house near town and Mrs. Hull boards with 
them. Mrs. Prentice begged me to come and stay some with 
her. Perhaps I shall. 

Spent a day with Mrs. Levy lately. She is from New 
Orleans and has a large family of little children. Her husband 
and oldest son are in the Virginia Army. She is a good talker, 
a woman of the world, and a Jewess, but I think does not 
practice her religion. She was a Miss Moise from Charleston. 

Jimmy yesterday had a letter from Mr. Clarkson asking 
for news of Ben. Jimmy has not heard from him since March 
and could write little of comfort. Our last direct news was 
in the spring, and now it is November. We fear all three of 
our loved ones were in Bragg's last great battle. We know 
Longstreet's corps was engaged. It is reported that Lee and 
Meade have had another fight, but nothing definite. We can 
only pray for their lives to be spared. 

The exhilarating news of the capture of Rosecrans and his 
army proves to have been a canard. He has been heavily 
reinforced and is again in the field. What credulous mortals 
we be, believing all the good reports and distrusting all the 
bad until the truth is forced upon us. Gen. Blount, the man 
who vowed bloody vengeance against Texas because he was 
whipped here several years ago for inciting an insurrection, 
has been killed, and we in this section can rest in peace at 
least for the time. Quantrill did Texas that one good 
service. 82 

Mamma and Mrs. Carson have subscribed for several 

Willy Carson must have reached his destination before 

82 Perhaps a reference to General James G. Blunt, who was active in 
the Federal conquest of Arkansas and Missouri in 1862-63. If so, he was 
not killed as here reported. An ardent abolitionist, Blunt was born in 
Maine, practiced medicine in Ohio, and lived in Kansas during the 
bloody decade before the war. Battles and Leaders, III, 447-48; Dic- 
tionary of American Biography, XV, 94. According to James Farber, 
Quantrill operated in north Texas in the latter part of 1863. General 
McCulloch arrested him at Bonham, but Quantrill escaped. Allegedly he 
operated in northeast Louisiana and southern Arkansas afterwards. 
James Farber, Texas C.S.A. (New York, 1947) , 


this. He was at home on furlough when we came but left in 
a few days. He looked dreadful such a slight, boyish fellow. 

We were nearly a week coming down from the prairie 
[Lamar Co.], and the children enjoyed the trip greatly. Kitty 
and Bobby Vaughn were with us, and they were all in a 
perpetual romp. But those white sandy roads and long 
rocky hills are dreadful when one is shut up in a Jersey, 
innocent of springs and driven by a little boy who manages 
to hit nearly every rock and stump. 

We spent one day at Mrs. Fowler's, and they were very 
kind to us. But for the pony Johnny bought the day before 
we left, Jimmy would have had nothing to ride, as he failed 
in getting a horse. Mamma gave the pony to me, and we 
named it Red Rebel. But it is too small for my riding and 
we will sell it. Wish we could afford to keep it for Sister. 
Her eyes are still inflamed. She has been unable to read 
for a month. Sore eyes are one of the curses of Texas. 83 

Mr. Kaiser is domineering and not altogether pleasant. 
Mamma and Mrs. Carson had about determined for him to 
seek another home, but the opportune present of half a 
dozen ducks, fruits of a long hunt, has mollified them. I 
tell them they are open to bribery. Sister and Katie are 
inseparable and Mamma and Mrs. Carson are very congenial 
and talk together by the hour. The boys are the greatest 
cronies. It is rather inconvenient receiving company in one's 
bedroom, but if we had a sitting room we would not have 
even chairs to put in it. It does not look like we will be 
crowded with company. Not a native man or lady has called. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Nov. 7: There are some changes in our 
household. Mr. Kaiser has left us after his school left him. 
He has gone seven miles in the country to open another 
school. May it prove more successful than this attempt. We 
have forgiven him for his desertion of Jimmy. He cannot 
help being a coward. He remarked pathetically to Mrs. 
Carson, speaking of the big boys of the school, that he felt 
he was on the mouth of a volcano. We have no teacher and 

83 Probably "pinkeye," an acute, highly contagious variety of con- 


no prospect of one. Mamma is speaking seriously of going 
on to live in Gilmore [Gilmer, Tex. ?] to put Jimmy in school, 
but I hope she will not. 84 There are so many refugees here 
that we may like Tyler after awhile, and the next school the 
boys may be able to attend. 

We spent a day with Mrs. Prentice and Mrs. Hull. Col. 
Hull was at home a splendid-looking, tall, dark, young 
officer, something like Tom Manlove, and quiet and reserved. 
Like most soldiers, he dislikes to talk of his adventures or 
the war. 

Yesterday afternoon we went on a refugee hunt and called 
on a Mrs. Blackmore, who has a very sick child. They are 
from Homer [La.] and could tell us a good many items of our 
friends there. Went on to see Mrs. Col. Hill from Little Rock 
[Ark.]. She is a waspish, opinionated, little blonde person, 
while her husband is as jolly and good-natured looking a 200 
pounds as you would wish to see. Wanted to call on Miss 
Bocage of Arkansas but could not find the house. Returned 
Miss Grissman's call. The house looked rather happy-go- 
lucky, and Mrs. Grissman was keeping up a row in the back 
regions. Fancied we would not care to make them a long 

Two of the citizens, Dr. Lawrence's daughter and sister, 
called on us. I was out riding and so missed seeing them. 
Sent Mrs. Hull word we are two ahead of her. My pride 
made me ride Eddie's horse instead of Willy's, as it is so 
much the handsomer. Though pride did not have a fall, it 
got an awful jolting and bruising. So rough that I have been 
stiff ever since. The Carson boys are very kind, loaning 
their horses to me at any time. 

Several letters this week. One from Uncle Johnny at 
Austin. He secured his situation but says everything is very 
high, wood $40 a cord. A letter from Sarah Wadley just as 
they were leaving for Georgia. Hope they succeeded in 
running the blockade and crossing the river in safety. I 

84 Gilmer, made county seat of Upshur County in 1846, was the site of 
Morgan H. Looney's school, which was established in 1861 and which 
became one of the best-known early schools in Texas. Handbook of 
Texas, I, 692, 


do not wish for letters. Have such a fear of bad news. The 
sight of a letter turns me sick with apprehension. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Nov. 9: I cannot realize Brother Walter's 
death. He seems no further away than the others, and I 
involuntarily think of him as returning with Brother Coley 
and My Brother. And they may be all together now in 
the gardens of Paradise. 

Just finished The Barrington Sketches a rollicking life 
they led, a picture of old Irish life. 86 Now on Mahomet and 
His Successors, by Irving so it must be good. 86 I walked up 
to see Mrs. Levy. She is kind and pleasant, but Mrs. Carson 
has a prejudice against her. Mrs. Carson will not send for 
her to spend the day, and we have no carriage. 

Sister and Katie are taking music lessons and walk to town 
every morning to practice. 

Mrs. Carson still clings to her river custom of riding every 
day. Mamma dubs it a horrid bore, as Mrs. Carson always 
wants her as company. I go occasionally and enjoy it. 
Mamma is hard at work lately sewing with Adeline's assist- 
ance. I have just finished stitching a set of the primest 
linen collars that make me look an old maid before my time. 
I like the soft grace of lace or tulle, but Mrs. Carson admires 
the stiSest and whitest of their kind. The boys, particularly 
the two youngest, are running wild. They never tire of romp- 
ing and are just overflowing with life, the pure joy of living. 
Sister and Katie would go the even tenor of their way in 
peace, if only their cats were dead. Their solicitude in trying 
to keep them away from the boys injures their rest. It is 
like touching fire to tinder for a boy to even touch a cat. 
There is an explosion at once. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Nov. IS: This week Mrs. Carson, the little 
girls, and I are alone. Mamma has gone to Shreveport, 
taking Eddie Carson with her. Mr. Smith is again taken 
into the militia, thanks to Maj. Little's dislike of refugees, 
and Mamma has gone to the headquarters of Gen. Kirby 

85 By Sir Johan Barrington (1760-1834) . 

86 By Washington Irving (1783-1859) , published in 1850. 


Smith to try to get a permanent discharge for Mr. Smith. 87 
The turnout for the trip was essentially Texas: the high 
Jersey with white body and black curtains and two shaggy 
mules with shuck collars. It was anything but stylish. They 
say pride must have a fall, and ours has had many a tumble 
since we left home. How I hope Mamma will be able to buy 
a carriage this trip. Jimmy has gone to the prairie to stay 
during Mr. Smith's absence. He started off with a dreadful 
toothache, on a rough little mule. Hope he will return free 
of toothache and on a horse. We rode with him as far as the 
Yankee camp. Mamma had some business with the com- 
manding officer, and we went out with her. A number of the 
prisoners escaped the other day, and the townspeople are 
very apprehensive of their burning the town. They put out 
guards every night, and they take turns in guarding the 
prisoners. One of the prisoners was shot yesterday for dis- 
obedience of orders. He died in a few hours. 88 

Jimmy Carson and Johnny are off on a grand hunting 
frolic. Johnny begged off from going with Mamma and 
Eddie gladly took his place. 

A letter from Anna Dobbs says Uncle Bo was wounded at 
Chickamauga, 89 is off on sick leave, but will soon be all right. 
Dear fellow, how I wish he could be with us. This is his first 
wound though he has been in service since May, 1861. Robert 
Norris fell on the same bloody field, horribly mangled by a 
shell, on the evening of the third day's battle. He was one 

87 Major General Edmund Kirby Smith succeeded General T. H. 
Holmes as commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department in March, 
1863, and moved his headquarters from Alexandria to Shreveport in the 
fall of 1863. He had few more than 40,000 troops to defend the de- 
partment, and there was much criticism of his deployment of them. 
Battles and Leaders, III, 454-59. 

88 Camp Ford, about three miles northeast of Tyler, was built in 1863 
to hold Federal prisoners. It and Camp Groce, near Hempstead, Tex., 
were the most important prisons west of the Mississippi. Camp Ford 
was fenced with sixteen-foot poles, and the grounds included ten acres 
with log houses for the prisoners. Sixteen guards were on duty during 
the day and thirty-two at night. Albert Woldert, A History of Tyler 
and Smith County, Texas (San Antonio, 1948), 38-41. For pictures of 
Federal prisoners at Camp Ford, see The Photographic History oj the 
Civil War (New York, 1911) , VII, 49 and 51 

89 Chickamauga, Ga., September 19-20, 1863. 


of our best friends and a good boy. Many pleasant memories 
gather round his name. Sweet be his rest and a bright reward 
in the great hereafter. 

Anna was to be married on the fifth of November to Dr. 
Meagher, a match we prophesied long ago. May her happi- 
ness be complete. Surely smiles and tears follow each other 
in quick succession. Death does not seem half so terrible as 
it did long ago. We have grown used to it. Never a letter 
but brings news of the death of someone we knew. Another 
girlhood friend off the list, but none do I regret like Kate 
Nailor, the first and best. 

A letter from Mr. Williams to Mrs. Carson says that 
neither Joe nor Brother Coley were in the battle of Chicka- 
mauga and both were well on October 10, for which we are 
truly thankful. We have written them many letters but had 
none from them in answer. 

I made my first essay in driving a buggy today, succeeded 
a merveille. I drove Mrs. Carson to town twice today with 
Brandon as outrider. He was to turn the buggy if I couldn't. 
She has no horses here, and this is our only way of escaping 
a species of solitary confinement. Called on Dr. Lawrence's 
family and heard the piano for the first time in Texas in the 
familiar piece, " La Priere d'une Vierge" 

Alone as we are tonight, I feel a little afraid of the escaped 
Yankees. So I will put out the light, pull the cover over my 
head, and go to sleep. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Nov. IS: I have been promoted to Mam- 
ma's post as listener-in-chief to Mrs. Carson. She cannot 
bear to be alone and must have someone to talk to. Mrs. 
Carson does not enjoy talking to me as much as she does 
Mamma, but I am better than nobody. 

Col. Buckner took tea the other evening. He is a tall, 
handsome, blond man with engaging manners and does not 
seem heartbroken over the death of his wife and children. 
People live so fast now. We have no time to mourn. 

We certainly have plenty of servants to do our bidding, 
most of Mamma's house servants and all Mrs. Carson's, and 
that is about all we do have. So little to eat: biscuit for 


we can get plenty of flour; syrup made of sugar, for we have a 
hogshead of sugar; and rusty, rancid bacon, absolutely all 
the meat we have been able to buy, no eggs, chickens, milk, 
butter, or fresh meat, and not a vegetable. Nothing more to 
be bought. It seems absurd to have two fine cooks and two 
dining-room servants and such fare. The Negroes never had 
so little to do in their lives. We will surely do better in the 
spring if we can get seed, a cow, and some hens. No fruit 
but black haws. They are fine, much better than the red haw 
of the swamp. 

The Union candidates at the North are elected and peace, 
blessed peace as far away as ever. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Dec. 10: Again we are called on to mourn 
one of our dearest and best. Brother Coley has crossed the 
Dark Valley, free from all pain and trouble. He lies at rest 
and we are desolate indeed. We had heard only the week 
before that he was well on October 10, when the letter came 
telling of his death at Clinton, Miss., on September 22. I can 
do no better than copy Mrs. Bonham's letter to Mamma, 
telling how nobly and fearlessly a Christian soldier can die. 

Clinton, Miss. 90 
Sept. 25th, 1863 
My dear Friend: 

It is with feelings of deep and heartfelt sorrow that I 
resume my pen to give you the particulars of the death of 
your noble son Coleman Stone. He breathed his last at a 
quarter before ten Tuesday morning, Sept. 22nd. I wrote 
you a week before his death giving you full particulars up 
to that time. Then fever set in which with his previous 
bad health and reduced state and wound combined soon 
brought him down. The injury, as I stated in my letter, 
was very serious from the first and never healed as it 
would have done on a strong, healthy person. Ten days or 
more before his death I had him moved from the hospital 
to an office in the yard next me so I could give him con- 
stant care. Mrs. Moore was on the other side so some 
female was with him all the time. I never saw so groat a 

00 Eight miles west of Jackson, Miss. 


favorite. Everybody in town was interested in him. Some- 
one was constantly calling to see if they could be of service. 
As for me, I loved him as a son and grieved for him as one. 
He was one of the most patient beings under suffering I 
ever saw. 

I watched him three weeks and four days. Most of the 
time he was suffering the most excruciating pain, but he 
bore it with the most remarkable firmness, and to you, his 
mother, I bear the comforting assurance that he died a 
Christian. The first Sabbath after he came to the hospital 
I went in the evening to see him fearing he would be lonely 
and found him reading his Testament. I sat down by him 
and read aloud for some time. He kept his Bible lying 
always under his pillow. I used often to take my work and 
sit by him, and we had many conversations about you, his 
brothers, and sisters, and his last wish was that he could 
see you all once more, calling you all by name. 

Two days before his death he told me he wished the 
doctor to tell him his exact condition. He was perfectly 
calm and composed. The doctor told him there was no 
chance of his recovery, and said to him, ( Coley, you are a 
sensible thinking boy and must know the necessity of 
preparation for another world.' He replied that he did and 
asked me to send for a minister to converse and pray with 
him. I at once sent for Mr. Tom Markham, formerly of 
Vicksburg, who happened to be in this vicinity, and around 
the couch of that dying soldier boy I passed through some 
of the most impressive scenes of my life. At sunrise on 
Tuesday morning, we all knelt around his bed and heard 
one of the most feeling and beautiful prayers I ever listened 
to. When I rose and stood by him my hand on his head, he 
looked in my face and said, * Mrs. Bonham, I don't think I 
have ever been a very wicked boy, but since I have been 
in the army I have been striving to be a Christian, and I 
believe God has heard my prayers and has answered them. 
I believe He has forgiven my many sins, pardoned me, and 
will take me to my home in Heaven. Write to my dear 
Mother and tell her what I have said to you. I have longed, 
oh, so much, to see her and my Brothers and Sisters once 
more, but as I cannot on this earth I trust they will meet 
me in Heaven/ He was perfectly calm and had his senses 
up to five minutes before his death. There was no struggle, 


no contortion. I stood on one side of him, Mrs. Moore on 
the other, Dr. Hunt, Mr. Markham, and several others 
around. I stooped and with sobs and tears pressed a kiss 
on his brow. He looked in my eyes and said audibly so 
that all could hear, ' For my Mother.* Again I kissed him 
and he said, ' For my Sisters.' All were in tears. The 
strong, stout man who waited on him turned to the window 
sobbing aloud. Of that good man, that kindhearted friend, 
I must speak. Mr. Galloway was sent at Coley's request to 
wait on him. He watched by him day and night with the 
faithfulness and affection of a brother and the tenderness 
of a woman. He was never for a moment cross or impatient 
and always ready to gratify Coley 's slightest wish, and he 
grieved for him as for a brother. I shall always love the 
man for his devotion to Coley, who, on his death bed, told 
me he wanted Mr. Galloway to have his horse and other 
effects. He said his horse belonged to his brother, and Mr. 
Galloway would give it up if it was ever called for. He also 
has his pistol. There was nothing of service except to sol- 
diers. I have his Testament and a few books. My Belle 
never let a morning pass without taking him a bouquet of 
flowers, which he always enjoyed. 

Joe Carson came in the morning of his death. He grieved 
sorely to think he must give up forever his dearest friend. 
It made my heart ache to see his sorrow. Of the six who 
started out to mess together, only three remain, Mr. Gallo- 
way, Carson, and Clarkson. I sat with them around the 
dead and impressed on them the uncertainty of life. We 
dressed Coley in a nice suit of clothes furnished by a young 
friend of his, Tom Moore. When Coley was first brought 
in, Tom said to his mother, * Do all you can for Coley Stone 
as he is my best friend/ Everything of the best kind was 
prepared for his burial. I wish it was in my power to de- 
scribe the funeral, but my pen is inadequate. It took place 
just after nighl. The moon was full and shone most beauti- 
fully. The burial service by Mr. Markham was long and 
most appropriate. Nearly all of his company were present 
and a large number of ladies. A stranger would have 
thought from the feeling shown that we were each seeing 
a loved brother or son to his last resting place. All were 
in tears. That burial was one we will all remember. You 
have my deepest sympathy in this, your great sorrow. 


How many sad hearts and broken households has this 
terrible war caused. 

Most sincerely your friend, 

Mary T. Bonham 

. . . My heart bleeds for Mamma. Sorrow after sorrow rolls 
over her, almost more than she can bear, but she is a most 
brave woman and will not sink beneath the burden. 

The moonlight falls clear and cold on the graves of three 
of those who made the mirth and happiness of our home only 
two short summers ago three of the glad young voices are 
hushed, three of the bright young heads lie low. Now what 
remains of the high hopes, the stirring plans, and the great 
ambitions that burned in the hearts and filled the brain of 
these gallant boys only a handful of dust. All have fallen 
in the dew and flower of their youth. Ashburn was the first 
to sink to his dreamless sleep. For two long years the grass 
has been springing fresh and green over his grave at Broken- 
burn. He died November 12, 1861, aged eighteen years and 
three months. Brother Walter was the next to obey the 
dread summons. He crossed the black waters of the River of 
Death February 15, 1863, aged eighteen years and two 
months, and now in the autumn of the same year Brother 
Coley has passed from Time to Eternity, his short life 
numbering twenty years and six months. 

What charms can peace have for us when it does come 
bereft of our nearest and dearest? 

They grew in beauty side by side 
They filled one home with glee, 
Their graves are scattered far and wide 
By mountain, grove, and sea. 

We can never return to the bright and happy home of three 
years ago. These three graves darken the threshold. Mam- 
ma was in Shreveport when we received the letter and did 
not get home for several days. She had heard all were well 
and came home cheerful and happy to be greeted by such 
news. It was an awful shock to her. 
Brother Coley had such a brave and dauntless spirit in 


that, sensitive body, a love for all that was pure and 
noble, and a scathing contempt for all that was low and 
mean. Joe Carson has just left after a short furlough home, 
and from him we learned all that we can know of Brother 
Coley. He had not grown to strong manhood, as we fondly 
imagined, but was still a beardless boy, tall and slender, the 
same fragile form and unbending energy and spirit that we 
knew at home. He had been offered a position as 2nd lieu- 
tenant in Bragg's army through Uncle Bo's influence. He 
had accepted it and expected to join his new company in a 
few days, when he received the injury that caused his death. 

He was out scouting near Clinton with several others when 
something scared his horse, a powerful black of Dr. Buck- 
ner's. Brother Coley was sitting sideways on the horse, his 
leg thrown over the pommel. They had stopped to rest when 
the horse reared and Brother Coley's spur caught in the bit 
as he threw his leg over, and the horse fell backward crushing 
Brother Coley's shoulder and arm against a root a most 
painful injury. He was a splendid rider, and to meet death 
that way. He had been in many skirmishes and engagements 
but never was wounded. In the desperate charge that the 
28th Miss, made in the Franklin, Tenn., battle, he had his 
cartridge box shot off and fell from his horse but was unhurt. 
Once acting as regimental orderly he rode through a fire of 
shot and shell that none of the couriers would brave to 
carry orders to his squardon. 

Brother Walter was only once under fire but acted with 
such coolness and courage that he was highly complimented 
by his officers. A small party were sleeping at a picket post 
on the bank of a little stream when they were surprised by 
the enemy, who opened artillery fire across the creek. The 
men rushed for their horses and galloped off, but Brother 
Walter after mounting rode to the banks of the stream and 
fired several shots at the gunners, saying afterwards, " Boys, 
I was just obliged to take a few shots at them." Well may 
we be proud of our brave boys, and we can never be grateful 
enough to the kind friends at Clinton who nursed Brother 
Coley so tenderly. 


[Tyler, Tex.] Dec. 12: Not to us alone has God sent 
trouble and sorrow. Nearly every household mourns some 
loved one lost. Mamma and Mrs. Carson have gone out to 
see Mrs. Prentice. Her husband died last night leaving her 
a childless widow alone in a strange land. He had been ill 
for a week with pneumonia, and both Johnny and Jimmy 
have been sitting up with him. A letter from Amelia Scott 
yesterday tells of the death of her brother Charley on the 
bloody field of Chickamauga. Allen Bridges, a bright little 
boy not more than sixteen, Robert Norris, and Mr. Claud 
Briscoe all fell in the same engagement. Of that band of 
boys who used to assemble at our house to hunt, play, and 
amuse themselves, only Joe Carson and Ben Clarkson re- 
main. Mr. Newton, who went with them so much and always 
on Saturday, fell months ago in some battle. Charley Scott 
was such a frank, warm-hearted young fellow, a heart over- 
flowing with love and kindness, hospitable to the last degree. 
How his mother and sister will miss him. He was an idol 
with them both. 

Mamma met several old friends in Shreveport and suc- 
ceeded in getting Mr. Smith's discharge. She went to see 
Mary Gustine who is living very comfortably at Shreveport 
and is delighted with her husband. Her mother and Ella 
live with them. Eva Butts is married and living at Shreve- 
port. Capt. Buckner, Mary's husband, is a Commissary with 
quarters at Shreveport. Eugenia Rossman is also married 
to young Charley Allen, younger than herself by several 
years. We are duly thankful for that marriage. Mamma had 
a horror of her as a daughter-in-law, and I verily hated to 
think of her as a sister. My Brother stopped to see her on 
his last journey to Virginia and wrote to Mamma he was 
engaged to her, which news we received with a groan. But 
we do not think his heart will be irretrievably broken. 
Charley Allen is a wealthy boy, an only son, educated in 
Europe until nearly grown. I know his mother hates it. 

Mamma met at the hotel an old friend, Mrs. Gibson, 
formely Mrs. Lane, a very wealthy woman of Vicksburg. 
Aunt Laura waited on her at her first marriage. Her husband 


is in jail to be tried for murder, and she has lost five children 
in the last two years. Mamma says she was never so sorry 
for anyone. She was looking dreadful and so desolate and 
unfriended. A letter from Sarah Wadley. They are back at 
home. They could not cross the river without great risk 
so returned to stand the worst the Yankees may do rather 
than attempt another runaway. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Dec. 13: We missed Joe Carson after he 
left on December 9. We had to exert ourselves to keep from 
saddening his homecoming. He had great trouble in getting 
a furlough, and it was only through Ben Clarkson's kindness 
that he got it at last. Ben gave his furlough to Joe, the 
greatest kindness one soldier can show another. Brother 
Coley and Joe expected to come together, but it was not to 
be. Joe stayed a little over two weeks after a ride of ten 
days to get here. He is returning a shorter route. There is 
a strong probability of his being stopped in Shreveport and 
assigned to the army on this side as the authorities are 
allowing no soldiers to leave the Trans-Mississippi Depart- 
ment. Joe would be delighted as he is very anxious for a 
transfer to Louisiana, and if he reaches his command will 
try hard for a transfer. We hope, for his mother's sake as 
well as his own, that he may get it. We sent numbers of 
letters by him. 

We heard of My Brother. He has been unable to go into 
service since Gettysburg, His wound is still unhealed and 
his arm stiff. He is staying in Lynchburg with Aunt Laura 
and Mrs. Buckner, Dr. Buckner's mother. Mamma is using 
every exertion to get a transfer or discharge for him. She 
has written to the Secretary of War on the subject. Brother 
Coley could have gotten a discharge at any time on account 
of ill-health, but he would not hear of it, and even when he 
knew that if he recovered his arm would be useless declared 
his intention of remaining in the army. A gallant spirit. 

Uncle Bo is captain on some general's staff. He makes a 
dashing officer and must be a favorite with his mess. He has 
such a gay, joyous nature and is always in a good humor. 
Wish we knew the general's name. 


It is sickening to hear Joe's account of the labor and 
hardships his regiment, the 28th Miss., has undergone in the 
last year. Sometimes they rode for twenty-two hours with- 
out leaving their saddles. Often they had insufficient food, 
no salt and at the best only beef and cornbread, no tents, 
sleeping out in the rain and snow, and frequent skirmishes 
and engagements. No wonder our poor boy sank under it. 
Joe has never missed a fight. The regiment from being one 
of the strongest in point of number is reduced to about 400 
fit for duty. 

Mamma, Mrs. Levy, and I attended Mr. Prentice's funeral 
this morning. Finding she would be entirely alone, we stayed 
until evening and Mamma remained all night. Such a deso- 
late-looking graveyard. Such sombre trees and leaden skies 
and such inhospitable soil and clay. When I lie down to rest, 
may the heavy dews of Louisiana brighten the grass above 
my head. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Dec. 19: Mamma, Mrs. Carson, and the 
little girls are off looking for a house to rent for Mrs. Savage. 
They are now on their way to Tyler and wish to have a house 
rented by their arrival. They expect to reach here by Christ- 
mas, and we will all be overjoyed to have them again as 
neighbors. We have not seen them for just a year. If Julia 
could come too, we would be pleased. She keeps us in kind 
remembrance. She has just sent me ** the Rebel headress " 
and some visiting cards. Texas will not seem so desolate with 
old friends around us. 

It has been intensely cold for some days, but the norther 
has at last blown itself away. We went out this morning to 
see Mrs. Prentice, fearing she has been lonely. We found 
Mrs. Hull and Mrs. Clark with her. Mrs. Hull is just back 
from Shreveport, going there to meet some St. Louis friends 
lately banished from the state. They say there is no prospect 
of peace. The North is more prosperous than ever before. 
Traveling through the states, one would hardly know there 
was a war going on. How different from our own suffering 
country. Mrs. Hull is a charming little woman. I would 
like to know her well. Mrs. Levy and Mrs. Wells beg us to 


come out and stay some with them, but we have not the 
heart to visit now, only to see some refugee in trouble. Refu- 
gees must be good to each other. 

The little girls go every morning to Mrs. Lawrence's to 
practice. They took dinner there and went to call in the 
afternoon on the Bocage children, a nice family just in from 

How much boys add to the life of a house. Jimmy and 
Eddie have been on a visit of a few days at Mr. Fluellen's. 
They describe it as the nicest place they have seen in Texas. 
They like the Fluellen boys so much. 

We are sewing and reading some dull, dry books. Mamma 
spent nearly a thousand dollars while in Shreveport buying 
clothes, five or six dresses. Everything is so enormously high. 
A plain delaine dress $00 and a velvet mantle or poplin 
dress cannot be bought for less than $1,500. She did not 
indulge in one of those. 

No word from Joe yet. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Christmas Eve: We have had quite a rush 
of company. Mrs. Templeton and Dr. Wylie spent a day 
and night with us. They had just been out to the river and 
to Vicksburg and could tell us much of interest. They came 
driving up in grand style, a beautiful carriage and horses. 
The family was quite in commotion. We could not guess 
what great dignitary was coming to visit us, when who should 
step out but Dr. Wylie, the same great, coarse, fast-talking 
man we were introduced to on the Macon, nowise improved 
by his Texas trip. It is a treat to hear him read. He rushes 
on like he was trying to catch a fast train, and one gets little 
idea of what he is reeling off. Mrs. Carson was in agony lest 
Eddie or I should disgrace ourselves by laughing outright. 
I shall put a stop to being teased about that horrid man. 
Not a boy shall open his lips on the subject. He assured us 
he would come again, but we will excuse him if he forgets. 

Two of Gen. Roane's 91 staff honored us with a call that 
morning, Capt. Smith (singular name) and Lt. Somerville, 

91 Brigadier General J. Selden Roane, former governor of Arkansas. 
Thomas, Arkansas in War and Reconstruction, 139, 156, and 165. 


both quite pleasant. Capt. Smith is handsome with bold 
black eyes and a fast " about town " manner. Lt. Somer- 
ville has a boyish face and a horror of being considered 
young. He announces with a manly air that he is twenty-one 
but he looks seventeen. 

Mr. Levy and Mr. Michele spent the afternoon and took 
tea. Mr. Michele, a Creole from New Orleans and with all 
their mannerisms, is stationed here in some government post. 
He will prove an agreeable addition to our society. He 
escaped from New Orleans five days after his marriage, 
leaving his wife there. Capt. King, our only other acquaint- 
ance, holds out to the promise of a visit, a pleasure, in the 
near future. 

A letter from Amelia Scott. They are still uncertain of 
Charley's fate. What a trying time of suspense. She begs me 
to come and stay some with them but I cannot visit now. 
My heart is too heavy. Johnny and Jimmy Carson have 
gone to Mr. Fluellen's to spend Christmas. We are glad for 
the little fellows to have a pleasant Christmas. It is very 
dull here as we are making no preparations for the day, 
which was formerly a season of such merriment and re- 

Tears, idle tears, Tears from the depth of some distant 


Rise in the heart and gather in the eyes, 
In gazing o'er the dreary winter fields 
And thinking of the days that are no more. 92 

Mr. Cleghorn of rose and river fame spent Sunday with 
us. The same detestable man as of yore. Mamma and Mrs. 
Carson still hunting a house. I, dressed in my best, black 
dress and yellow ribbons, have nothing better to do this 
morning than scribble. 

02 A paraphrase of lines from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's " The Princess ": 
Tears, idle tears . . . 

Tears Jrom the depth of some divine despair 
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes, 
In looking on the happy autumn -fields, 
And thinking of the days that are no more. 


[Tyler, Tex.] Christmas Night: The day has passed most 
quietly, not a cake, not a visitor. We did have an eggnog 
but only the servants enjoyed it. Made of mean whiskey, 
it smacked of Texas. We missed our regular Christmas 
visitor, Mr. Valentine. He has been with us for the last three 
years. I wonder where he is now. Only one present on the 
place, a fine turkey from Mrs. Lawrence. Last Christmas 
morning when dear little Beverly raised up in bed, and look- 
ing at her stockings saw only some homemade toys, bedstead 
and chairs made of white pine by the plantation carpenter, 
hid her head, sobbing that she " would not have the ugly 
common fings." Aunt Laura told her how bad that was and 
that poor Santa Claus had done his best but he could not 
get through the Yankee lines. Presently the little, flushed 
face was raised and an apologetic little voice faltered out, 
" Table, I begs your pardon. Bedstead, I begs your pardon. 
I will keep you and play with you. You is nice." What a 
dear little heart she is. 

Two letters for me and four for Mrs. Carson today. Hers 
were from her brother in the North and Mrs. Newman. They 
had just heard of Dr. Carson's death and wrote letters of 
condolence begging her to come North. " Uncle Ed " would 
perhaps come down for her. So we may have a chance to see 
far-famed Uncle Ed at last. We have heard much of him, 
but living in New York, he has seemed rather a mythical 
personage until now. Mrs. Newman rather rejoices in being 
in the Yankee lines and says she will remain at home. It is 
not a specially pleasant letter. She sends love to us all. 
Anna writes they have advanced as far as Shreveport. No 
house to be had as yet. A letter from Joe at Monroe, The 
river is rising so rapidly, we fear he will find great difficulty 
in getting across. 

A cold, moonshiny night, a warm room, and Mamma doz- 
ing at ease in our only rocking chair before a bright fire. The 
chair has accompanied us in all our journeyings since leaving 
Monroe and, though not a thing of beauty, it is a joy forever 
and seldom without an occupant. Sad to say, it is showing 
signs of wear, but it has acted the part of comforter in our 
weary pilgrimage. 


The all prevailing topic at present is the dire disease that 
afflicts the quartette of boys. It will be long before they 
hear the last of the disease and their dire crime in concealing 
it from their mothers. Fortunately for us all, poor little 
Eddie was the first to suffer and gave it to all the other boys. 
This is a rich field for Mrs. Carson to exhibit all her crochets, 
and she allows no opportunity to pass. She is a rather diffi- 
cult person to live with, so many fads and fancies and so 
bent on carrying them through. The boys are not enjoying 
their lives at present. The greatest comfort and amusement 
they find is in trying to tease me about Dr. Wylie, an in- 
exhaustible fund for Johnny and Eddie. 

Mrs. Lawrence has been kind about lending us her books, 
but we have about finished her library. Have read history 
until I feel as dry as those old times. Have nearly memorized 
Tennyson and read and reread our favorite plays in Shake- 
speare. Fortunately he never grows old. We hope Mr. 
McGee will be able to get Harper's to us. We wrote to him 
for it. That would keep us stirred up for awhile at least. The 
literature of the North is to us what the "flesh pots of 
Egypt " were to the wandering Israelites we long for it. 

Never a letter but brings news of death. Mr. Catlin is 
gone. And when we saw him last spring, what a picture of 
vigorous health he was. I wish we could hear from Lt. Valen- 
tine. Our old neighborhood is scattered to the four winds. 


"Disaster and despair" 

[Tyler, Tex.] Jan, 4: We were glad to see the Old Year 
go. It had been a year of trial to us, and we rejoiced when 
we caught the last glimpse of the sail bearing him on to the 
dim Ocean of Eternity. The New Year came wailing in, 
borne on the wings of a freezing norther. God grant it may 
bring peace to our warworn land and those we love home 

Mrs. Savage and her cortege, with Dr. Meagher in the 
train, arrived Tuesday and are busy settling in their new 
quarters. The little girls have been staying in here with us 
until today. We found five in the room with insufficient bed- 
clothes rather too much for comfort in this freezing weather. 
I very foolishly allowed myself to be persuaded to spend the 
first night out in camp with them, and I have not recovered 
from it yet. I feel like blushing every time I think of it as 
we all practically slept together with only a curtain sepa- 
rating the tent into two rooms and the mattresses touching 
each other. I never felt so out of place. Anna is the same as 
ever, but Emily Norris has outgrown the name of little girl. 
She has developed very rapidly and promises to be a noted 
flirt. She already has her " trot lines " out for all these boys. 
Think Jimmy Stone and Eddie will fall easy victims, but I 
doubt her ability to land such shy, wild specimens as Johnny 
and Jimmy Carson. 

We are so glad to have Johnny and Jimmy start to school 
today. It worried us all the time seeing Jimmy losing his 
last year at home learning nothing. We did not mind so 
much about Johnny's idleness. He is well advanced and the 



brightest child I ever saw. He takes the lead. Jimmy Carson 
and Eddie will follow him anywhere and applaud all he says 
or does. 

Jimmy Carson has been away for a week on business con- 
nected with Anderson's killing that Negro, a dreadful affair, 
and Mrs. Carson has fretted over his absence as she alone 
can fret. It is a terrible spell of weather to be traveling. The 
snow is several inches deep and frozen hard with the keenest 
wind howling around the house. 

Capt. King, the exquisite, has paid us several visits and 
beaten me a game of chess by my connivance. He came by to 
tell us good-bye Tuesday on his way to Shreveport and Cam- 
den. Sent letters by him and one of introduction to Julia 
and Carrie Lowry. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Jan. 7: All the unimportant days so far fall 
on Friday, Christmas, New Year's, and my twenty-third 
birthday, the day of ill omen, all on luckless Friday. Let us 
see what reputation we can give it on the last of the year, 
when we can scan the record. 

In the last twelve months trouble and distress have been 
our portion. " We have swallowed our tears like water " and 
have sunk beneath the chastisement of Our Lord. "His 
hands hath been heavy upon us/' yet " He hath not utterly 
forsaken us," and we can thank Him for many blessings left. 

A monotonous week to all closely housed by the extreme 
cold. Mamma and Mrs. Carson both depressed. Jimmy 
more than usually solemn. Eddie silent and subdued. The 
little girls tired of their usual pursuits, even cats and dolls 
have lost their charm. Even Johnny, the merriest and most 
mirth-loving of boys, has quieted down and is busy with his 
books and studies. He misses his great chum, Jimmy Carson, 
who is still away much to his mother's annoyance. 

No news from My Brother for so many months. When 
will he come? We are weary watching for the sight of his 
face and the sound of his voice. Gen. Morgan's daring escape 
is one piece of good news. 1 

1 0n November 27, 1863, General John Hunt Morgan, the famous 
cavalry leader, escaped from prison in Columbus, Ohio. C. F. Holland, 
Morgan and His Raiders (New York, 1942) , 268-87. 


[Tyler, Tex.] Jan. 13: Good news from My Dearest 
Brother today. He is almost well and has rejoined his regi- 
ment. We heard through a letter from Capt. Manlove De- 
cember 8. Flora Manlove, Tom's wife, sent a nice little note 
to me in the letter. How sweet of her to write. We have only 
a slight acquaintance, but she knows My Brother well and 
saw him, quite recently in Virginia. Capt. Manlove is so 
kind. He writes Mamma by every opportunity. A letter 
from My Brother, written in March. Other letters for Mrs. 
Carson urging her to come North. Different Yankees at 
Monroe and Vicksburg will send her on, but she will not hear 
of it. It is a good thing. She is wise enough to see that such 
schemes for abandoning all that they have are foolish in the 

Dr. Wylie is spending the evening and night. What a sor- 
did soul that man has. Did he ever perform a generous 
action in his life of forty years? 

Mrs. Lawrence and Mrs. Baxter were here this morning, 
and I am to dine with them tomorrow. I dread it, as I am 
to go alone. The children are all going to school, and Sister 
and Katie are charmed. The boys are not molested at this 

Mamma sent a letter to Mr. Smith yesterday, and if he 
can get what she writes for we shall feel quite independent. 
The first desideratum is a carriage. 

[Tyler, Tex.] March 8: I am quite alone tonight, not even 
a book for company. Mamma is in Shreveport trying to get 
a transfer for My Brother. The boys are in their room study- 
ing, and Sister, after suffering agony for the last twenty-four 
hours, has at last fallen asleep. The Negroes have left the 
yard. Even the dogs have forgotten to bark and are dozing 
on the gallery. The only sounds to break the stillness are 
the constant chirps of the crickets, the croaking of the rain 
crows heard afar off, and the mournful whistle of some Texas 
night-bird borne up from the thickety banks of the little 
stream " that flows through the meadow " across the road 
just at the foot of the hill. The wild March wind has sub- 
sided to a gentle zephyr, rustling the dry leaves still clinging 


to the stunted oaks till now when the new shoots are budding 
out to push them off. 

But to descend to dry facts. Our greatest event has been 
the breaking up of the pleasant household of the last four 
months. We were all getting on quite pleasantly and all 
seemed satisfied and happier than ever before in Texas. 
None of us thought of change, when suddenly one frosty 
morning came the announcement from Mrs. Carson that she 
knew of a house to be rented and she would move to it. She 
thought the households would be better apart. Of course 
there was nothing to be said, and Mamma at once assented, 
only offering to take the other house and let Mrs. Carson 
remain here. But she preferred the new domicile, and so, 
presto-change, before we hardly realized it they were packed 
up and away a mile across the hill. 

There had not been the shadow of disagreement, and we 
thought Mrs. Carson perfectly satisfied. We never have 
known why she left in such a hurry. All the children but 
Jimmy Stone were disgusted at the change. They were so 
enjoying themselves together. Mrs. Carson has kept most 
closely at home rarely calling on either Mamma or Mrs. 
Savage and she will seldom allow the boys or Katie to come. 
Such a change from her former habit of going out once or 
twice every day and doing nothing but talk between times. 
It seems very odd. She says she is entirely taken up with her 
housekeeping and sewing, two things she was never known to 
do in the past. Just one of her eccentric moods that there 
is no use worrying about. Eddie, according to his usual want, 
entered a most energetic protest to the move which resulted, 
as his protests always do, in a long lecture prefaced by the 
usual " My Darling, come in here." Mrs. Carson's children 
must hate the word "darling." Johnny was wretched for 
awhile, he missed the boys so and Eddie was inconsolable 
for a week. But they have brightened up now, and once 
or twice every day the boys come galloping up, emerging 
from the woods with a shrill whistle, and nearly always with 
a little bunch of wildwood flowers for me. So as they are at 
school, I think Mamma is rather relieved. Mrs. Carson often 


bored Mamma by insisting on talking to her hours at the 
time. I could not have stood it as Mamma did. 

We have refugee visitors but the natives, with the excep- 
tion of Dr. Lawrence's family, still hold aloof. Capt. King 
with his dark, sleepy eyes and grand air is a frequent visitor. 
We have been trying to get a backgammon board and 
chessmen to amuse him and ourselves but so far without 
success. The other afternoon we were enjoying our ease, 
Mamma lolling back in one chair her feet on another, Sister 
romping over the bed, and I reclining on several pillows, 
when we heard a knock at the door. Thinking it one of the 
servants, we called out, " Come in." Who should stalk in 
with his most dignified air, flashing in crimson and gold, but 
Capt. King, calling to say good-bye, having been ordered off. 
Fortunately for us, he is too near-sighted to notice much, 
and so the disorder of the room escaped him. 

Mrs. Savage's family we see constantly. 

[Tyler, Tex.] March 20: I spent last week in the country, 
just the wildest most remote section of civilzation, with the 
Goddards, who were complete strangers until then. They are 
from Arkansas and were recommended to us by Julia some 
time ago. We had seen some nice-looking strangers at church 
in the morning. In the afternoon in the midst of our ani- 
mated chat with Capts. Smithy and Empy, callers came. 
The young ladies were announced and introduced them- 
selves. They were so cordial and said they had come the 
twenty miles to meet us and to carry me home with them 
and were so insistent that I could hardly refuse, particularly 
as Mamma urged me to go. So I accompanied them next 
morning just twenty miles from anywhere. Mr. Goddard has 
a hat factory established there, and we spent the time as 
pleasantly as one could in a rough new house perched on a 
white sandbank in the midst of a limitless pine forest with 
rather silent strangers. No amusements except riding horse- 
back on rough horses over roads of deep white sand studded 
with stumps. Only the necessaries, none of the luxuries of 
life. On the seventh day I was only too glad to come home, 
though I had to do what none of us had ever done before 


drive home in a buggy driven by an old, old Negro man. 
Mr. Goddard had promised to bring me home at any time. 
He would not hear of Mamma's sending for me, and so I 
was helpless to get away. I shall not forgive any of them 
for sending me back in that style, and I never want to see 
any of them again. I was scared all day long, coming so 
slowly through those lonely woods, few houses on the way. 
The old driver was as respectful as possible, but the idea of 
the trip was perfectly repugnant. Mamma did not like it one 
bit more than I. 

Mamma returned Saturday. She succeeded in her mission 
and My Brother will be transferred to this department if he 
can get across the river, but that is very doubtful. 2 She saw 
them all at Mary Gustine's and Missie Morris, who is on a 
visit there. She regretted not taking me with her to enjoy 
seeing all of them. Missie wrote me. She says it is her second 
letter, and I was thinking I had offended her. 

Mamma heard that Kate Nailor is dead, leaving a little 
child. My darling girl, I can never love any other friend as 
I have loved her. She was all that was good and pure and 
most beautiful, and hers was a happy, lovely life but for 
My Brother whose hand alone had given her myrrh to drink. 
She was the petted darling of her entire household never 
refused any wish that could be gratified. 

[Tyler, Tex.] March 22: Letters from Annie and Joe. 
Annie writes an affectionate, amusing letter and is a good 
correspondent. Joe is at Vienna [La.] nursing Willy Carson, 
who is not well enough to be moved. That wound in his 
arm was more serious than they thought. Joe sent us two 
late magazines, Frank Leslie's 3 and Harper's. They ignore 
the war, but are great on the fashions which seem to be 
about the same as three years ago. The hoops are enormous 
but the bonnets not so towering, false hair ad libitum. The 
stories are trashy. 

Capt. King is still a visitor. We are quite comfortable at 

2 The Mississippi had been in the hands of Federal forces since the 
fall of Vicksburg in July, 1868. 
8 Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine, established in New York in 1857. 


home now. We hope not to move again until we strike the 
homeward trail. I dread Kate and Uncle Johnny's coming 
to live with us, but it seems not to be helped. Uncle Johnny 
could not get on in Austin. 

[Tyler, Tex.] April 15: Jimmy, Sister, and I are keeping 
house in lonely state. Mamma and Johnny are on a visit to 
the prairie. We are looking for Mrs. Payne and Julia any 
time. Their baggage and Negroes have already arrived. 
They left Camden for fear of the Yankees who were not far 
distant. We will be delighted to have them near us, but I 
fear Julia will not be the same dear girl now that she has 
relinquished her freedom and is engaged to be married. Capt. 
Street from Arkansas is the fortunate man. He has certainly 
drawn a prize. Julia will make a model wife. I fancy the 
wedding will be soon. Julia will find it dull here after her 
bellehood at Camden, where Gen. Price has had his head- 
quarters and the social life has been very gay. 

People do not mourn their dead as they used to. Everyone 
seems to live only in the present just from day to day 
otherwise I fancy many would go crazy. 

Carrie Lowry was married last month to Col. Polk of 
Arkansas. Her family are all pleased at the match. It was 
a grand wedding, and Julia was first bridesmaid. 

A letter from Aunt Sarah to Mamma enclosing one from 
My Brother. He was on the Rapidan when he wrote, on 
picket duty but was soon after detailed as brigade inspector 
and ordered to headquarters at Orange County Court House. 
He expected a nice time there, a tent, and little to do. He 
has lost hope of a transfer. They will not even give him a 
furlough. We still have strong hopes of his transfer through 
Gen. Kirby Smith's application. As Mamma was away, I 
opened the letter with a sinking heart, sure that it contained 
bad news. 

Joe is with the army at Campti [La.]. 4 

The papers are filled with news of our great victory at 

* About sixty miles southeast of Shxeveport. 


Mansfield, La., where the Yankees were so confident of suc- 
cess. 5 They had boasted that in two weeks the last armed 
rebel would be driven from Louisiana, Shreveport would be 
taken without a struggle, and then they would sweep over 
Texas, a besom of destruction. Then they would leisurely 
march back, after establishing freedom, law, and order in 
this benighted country, to the river, going in time to join 
Grant in his " On to Richmond." But they find themselves 
mistaken. We did the gobbling act. We have taken over 
5,000 soldiers and many stores. It is our first great success 
on this side of the river, and the effect will be magical, 
inspiring both citizens and soldiers. Our loss was heavy, 
especially in officers, Gens. Green and Mouton both killed 6 
and Gen. Polignac dangerously wounded. 7 Our gallant South- 
ern soldiers who can praise them enough? as much as they 
We will never laugh at our soldiers on this side of the 

5 In 1863, General Banks with a large force ascended Red River to 
capture Shreveport, headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department, 
and Marshall, Tex., important supply and administrative center. The 
force reached Natchitoches, dangerously near Shreveport, on April 3. 
General Taylor's Confederate forces surprised Banks near Mansfield, La., 
about forty miles south of Shreveport, and defeated him in the Battle 
of Mansfield, April 8. The Battle of Pleasant Hill the next day was 
hardly as successful for the Confederates, but the Federals were forced 
to retreat and eventually to give up the campaign altogether. Battles 
and Leaders, IV, 345-57; Blessington, Walker's Texas Division, 1 82-200. 

6 General Alfred Mouton, a Louisianian, was in command of a brigade 
of Texans and Louisianians at the Battle of Mansfield, where he was 
killed April 8. General Tom Green, commander of a brigade of Texas 
cavalry, was killed at Blair's Landing, La., April 12. Battles and 
Leaders 9 IV, 357; Blessington, Walker's Texas Division, 184-85. 

7 One of the most colorful officers in the Confederate Army was Prince 
Camille de Polignac, a Frenchman who came to America early in the 
war and offered his services to the Confederacy. He soon rose to the 
rank of major general. He was in France on a political mission for 
Governor Allen of Louisiana when the war ended and did not return. 
In 1918 his daughter, the Marquise de Courtivron, visited the Mansfield 
battlefield, and when she returned to France she organized the Paris 
Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. On the anni- 
versary of the battle in 1925, a monument, provided by the Paris 
Chapter, was unveiled at Mansfield by Polignac's son in the presence 
of the general's widow. Thomas, Arkansas in War and Reconstruction, 


Mississippi again. 8 Gen. Green was about the most popular 
officer in this department. Three thousand prisoners will 
arrive here tonight to be guarded with their companions in 
misery at the conscript camp. 

Capt. King has married recently a pretty little Creole 
refugee from New Orleans. It was a short acquaintance. We 
have exchanged calls and find her very pleasant, but I doubt 
she will have a happy life. We find Capt. King is quite a 
drinker. Dr. McGregor from Arkansas in one of the Depart- 
ments here is our most frequent visitor. Dr. Johnson, of 
laboratory fame/ has presented us with such a nice chess- 
board and backgammon box made by himself, and I have 
vanquished him in a game of chess much to my delight and 
his chagrin. It was his first game lost to a lady he says. He 
is something like Dr. Buckner in manner, and about his 
age. Dr. McGregor is a jolly, good-natured bachelor not 
overly refined. He is something like our New Orleans friend, 
Mr. McGregor. The same clan, I suppose. 

Willy Carson is at home. He has not grown any but looks 
well. His arm will not be well for a month yet. He is awfully 
shy and ill at ease. As I succeeded in melting Jimmy Car- 
son's reserve, I do not despair of Willy. I am about the only 
young lady in the world that Jimmy is not afraid of. We 
are great chums. Mrs. Carson has resumed her old habit and 
is out in her carriage every day. She has dropped Mrs. Levy 
and is devoting her time to Mrs. Lawrence. She is of a 
strange nature. Mrs. Levy is living at the laboratory. Dr. 
Johnson is at the head of it, making medicines and whiskey 
for the Government. Jimmy and I spent a delightful day 
with Mrs. Levy. She is so cordial. 

Mrs. Judge N. Richardson has paid her friends the long 
expected visit. She divided her time among her friends here, 
but Mrs. Carson told her that she could only ask her to call 
as her house was too small to entertain. She has four rooms 

8 Before the Battle of Mansfield, there had been a great deal of 
criticism of Trans-Mississippi Department troops. 

9 The Trans-Mississippi Medical Department was located about three 
miles east of Tyler. A laboratory there made medicines for the Con- 
federacy. Woldert, A History of Tyler, 41. 


but will not ask anyone to take a meal or sleep. Mrs. Rich- 
ardson and I have a plan for a trip to San Antonio, which 
will be splendid if we can only carry it out. She has three 
sisters-in-law living there. The Bichardsons are at Rusk. 10 
They left in time to save everything and they had lots. 

We see Mrs. Savage's family nearly every day. Jimmy and 
Eddie seem to have recovered from their desperate love 
affair with Emily. 

We have had several trashy novels, the best, The Dead 
Secret.^ The papers are most interesting and a great re- 
source, particularly the Houston papers. 

[Tyler, Tex.] May 5: What glorious news we have to- 
night and have been having for a month! First, Banks with 
his insolent boasts and vainglorious columns, waving ban- 
ners and beating drums to the easy conquest of Texas, is 
met at glorious Mansfield and Pleasant Hill [La.] by our 
brave soldiers and meets only defeat and disgrace. He has 
been flying ever since with our victorious troops, who in hot 
pursuit press on, striking blow after blow on his disorganized 
forces and capturing men, wagons, and stores left behind in 
the hasty retreat. He is in Alexandria now, in the shadow 
of his gunboats for a little breathing space. Many of his 
invincible fleet have been destroyed. 12 Then in Arkansas we 
have had a succession of victories, and now Gen. Steele is 
trying to cut his way through the fiery circle of rebels who 
surround him. And what quantities of stores of all kinds we 
have captured! 13 Banks and Steele are our commissary and 
quartermaster now. All ours can go to fighting. The battle 

10 The county seat of Cherokee County, organized in 1846. 
11 A novel by William Wilkie Collins, published in 1857. 

12 The Federal fleet comprised thirteen iron-clads, seven light-draught 
gunboats, and supply ships. Low water in Red River held up the ships 
but most of them escaped. The Federals lost one iron-clad, two pump- 
boats, and two gunboats, Battles and Leaders , IV, 362, 366. 

13 After defeating the Federals at Mansfield, General Smith sent troops 
into Arkansas to attack General Steele, who was on his way to Shreve- 
port to assist Banks in the capture of that city. Steele was defeated and 
forced to retire. Thomas, Arkansas in War and Reconstruction, &64H58. 


of Mansfield was fought on the day appointed for National 
fasting and prayer. 14 

What a cry of gratitude has gone up to God for our vic- 
tories. This whole country is in a state of delighted surprise, 
and as telegram after telegram comes announcing some new 
success, we can hardly believe our good fortune. Every face 
is bright with the good tidings. How splendidly our men 
have fought and how many gallant spirits have fallen. Four 
generals have fallen in the last month and hosts of lesser 
officers, greater in proportion than the loss of privates. God 
bless them all. They are an army of heroes. And from the 
other side of the river, victory answers to victory. Gen. 
Forrest is doing noble work in Tennessee and Kentucky. 
We hear tonight he has recaptured Memphis. Ross is clear- 
ing the Yazoo Valley, killing and capturing thousands. 15 
Everywhere Victory is perching on our banners and Peace, an 
honorable Peace, must be near. 

We are still looking for My Brother. Hear he has a sixty- 
day furlough. Uncle Bo's wound is not well enough for him 
to leave the hospital. Julia and Mrs. Payne came and are 
staying at Mrs. Savage's. They remained with us until Mam- 
ma got home. Julia is with us. Generally, she is more quiet 
than of old. She is anxious about her lover who is with the 
army opposing Gen. Steele, but as he is a quartermaster 
he should be quite safe. But Julia cannot see it in that light 
and thinks him in as much danger as a colonel leading his 
regiment. Julia would be shocked if she knew I considered 
him in a bomb-proof position. They think of going to Jeffer- 
son to live. Then we shall not see Julia married. She is very 
busy altering and making dresses, Mamma being chief coun- 
cillor and cutter. Every day or so Julia comes with some- 
thing to be cut or remodeled, and we have grand consulta- 
tions on the fashions, which is an exemplification of the blind 

14 April 8, 1864, had been set aside as a day of fasting and prayer for 
the Confederacy. 

15 In March and April, 1864, General N. B Forrest advanced from 
Mississippi through western Tennessee to Paducah, Ely. On his return 
he captured Fort Pillow. Battles and Leaders, IV, 415. General L. S. 
Koss, commanding a cavalry brigade, was conducting raids in Missis- 
sippi.- Official Records, Ser. I, XXXH, Pt. 1,653. 


leading the blind, as we are all in a state of dense ignorance. 
I have taken up the trade of glovemaking from buckskins. 
Have made a pair for Jimmy and have several others on 
hand. I make them with large gauntlets and embroidered 
backs for my favorites. 

Since the passing of the seventeen-year act/ 6 Jimmy has 
been most eager to join the army, and we were afraid at 
one time he would have to go at once. Mamma bought him 
a horse, which we named Prosperity in contradistinction to 
his horse Calamity, and we are busy getting Jimmy ready 
with heavy hearts. We hate so to see him go. We hear now 
that the enrollment is postponed, a great relief to us all 
except Jimmy, who insists on going anyway. But surely we 
can keep him a while longer. Mrs. Carson has gone to Shreve- 
port to try to get Jimmy Carson's release from Gen. Smith. 
Jimmy Carson, though wild to join the army, has behaved 
very well, perfectly obedient, and continues his studies like 
a dear good boy as he is. He and Eddie are about living with 
us now that their mother is away. They keep us supplied 
with wild flowers. Jimmy has his father's love for them. I 
fear Jimmy and I are in for a scolding from Mrs. Carson. We 
started in her buggy to see the May Festival, and at the top 
of the first hill the wheel smashed all to pieces. I feel Mrs. 
Carson will visit it on us, but we were not to be balked of 
our trip. Jimmy rushed off home for Joe's horse, Gold Dust, 
and we were soon mounted and on our way. We were too 
late for the coronation but had several pleasant hours talking 
nonsense to our gentlemen acquaintances and were regaled 
on some real loaf sugar cake. Jimmy Carson, Gold Dust, and 
I are having some lovely rides these soft May days. The 
wild flowers are in profusion on every hillside and lovely blue 
wild violets in the hollows. 

[Tyler, Tex.] May 7: Uncle Johnny and family are living 
with us now. They are all in bad health, but Tyler will 
build them up. We have not heard from Other Pa for an 
age. He remained in Arkansas. 

16 In February, 1864, the Conscription Act of 1862 was amended to 
include men between the ages of seventeen and fifty. 


Jimmy and Eddie have just left. Both the Jimmies are in a 
high state of indignation and contempt at an order signed by 
Gen. Kirby Smith just received from Shreveport detailing 
them as overseers. So Mrs. Carson was successful and sent 
it on. The boys consider it a perfect outrage and say they 
will not submit to such a thing. 

Jimmy and I went out to see Mrs. Levy and found them 
most sanguine as to the speedy close of the war. They think 
we will be traveling homeward by fall, but I think not before 
next spring. Jimmy gathered a bunch of lovely fragrant 
sweet Williams and dashed into town for the mail, only to 
find the post office closed. On our return home in a canter, 
Prosperity's most pleasant gait, I found Mamma entertain- 
ing Mrs. Payne, Julia, Emily, and Dr. Johnson. 

We have company nearly all the time now. It makes it 
seem something like the old home days, a crowded house. 
Mrs. Gen. Roane and Capts. Smith and Empy were out 
recently. She is very pleasant, though Julia has taken a 
prejudice against her. Julia has liked only one person she has 
met Capt. Empy. He is a great flatterer with a stock of 
ready-made compliments that he weighs out to every young 
lady as a grocer weighs out sugar. He is persuaded that he 
is irresistible. Capt. Smith has long hair and is a rollicking, 
jolly young fellow overflowing with fun. 

Dr. McGregor says there is much sickness in town, and 
he is too busy for much calling. Jimmy Carson and I rode 
out beyond the Yankee camp yesterday. The blue-coated 
prisoners are swarming within the stockade, several thousand 
of them, and those captured in Arkansas are expected every 
day. I rode Gold Dust. He is so well-gaited. Joe begs me 
to keep him and to ride him to death if I wish, but to let no 
one else ride him. 

[Tyler, Tex.] May 18: There was a terrible tragedy en- 
acted here today. Three men, noted Jayhawkers, were taken 
out of jail and just out of town were hanged by mob law. It 
is horrible and makes one shudder to think of it, though it 
is said they richly deserved their fate. The leader of the 
gang was the sheriff of the county, and the two who suffered 


with him were his sons-in-law. They were not from this 

Three Yankees died today at the hospital, which is not 
strange as they are so dreadfully crowded and have the 
roughest fare. But we cannot help them. They should have 
stayed in their own bountiful country instead of coming 
down here to kill and destroy. Our good news continues. 
Steele and Banks are still falling back. A great battle is 
rumored in Virginia, Grant's first fight in his " On to Rich- 
mond." He is opposed by the Invincible Lee, and so we are 
satisfied we won the victory. But it makes us anxious for 
My Brother. 

Hutch Bowman was here for two or three days and has 
gone on to his command. He and Joe are together. Hutch is 
dreadfully tanned, looks a regular Texan, a slow, good boy 
but a great romp. We see Mrs. Savage, Julia, and Mrs. Car- 
son every day. Julia is crazy to get back to Camden. As we 
prophesied, she does not like it here. But I would let the 
Major come for me. I would not go to him even in times 
of war. 

For the last few days no stages have come in, and how we 
do miss the mails, one of Tyler's chief attractions. 17 Jimmy 
Stone has stopped going to school and studies English at 
home. He is eager to get off to the army. Uncle Johnny, 
Kate, and the baby are all improving and look less like 
shadows and more like human beings. 

[Tyler, Tex.] May 25: We have bidden Julia and Mrs. 
Payne farewell this evening. " It may be for years and it may 
be forever," as they return to Camden the entire cortege, 
Negroes and all. Maj. Street sent an ambulance for them 
and they secured a wagon here. Julia is perfectly delighted 
to go back, but Mrs. Payne is not so pleased. I surely would 
let that strong, healthy Major come for me. I would not 
travel 200 miles over rough jolting roads to meet him. But 
then I am not in love with him and she is. That makes a 
vast difference, I suppose. I spent the night with her, and 

17 The Trans-Mississippi Postal Department was located at Marshall, 
about fifty miles from Tyler. 


we sat up nearly all night having our last confidential chat 

Thursday Julia and I, dressed in our best fancy yellow 
organdies, went calling with Mamma. Found nearly every- 
one out. Julia and I deserted Mamma and perambulated 
around town looking for flowers, stealing them through the 
palings and decorating our heads with them. At Mrs. Wells', 
we were regaled on huge slices of poundcake and fine music. 
Jimmy Stone and I rode out to see Mrs. Prentice. She likes 
Jimmy very much and says he reminds her so of her young 
son Horace, who died at about his age. The ride was delight- 
ful through the woods, sweet with the wild grape fragrance. 

Jimmy Stone has gone to the prairie [Lamar County] and 
Johnny is lost without him. Our usual succession of visitors 
boys, officers, doctors, and ladies. 

[Tyler, Tex.] May 29: The news this morning is enough 
to make one hurrah. Grant is repulsed with a loss of 45,000 
and Johnston is victorious at Dalton with 10,000 prisoners 
captured. 18 Providence is smiling on our arms this year. Not 
a defeat. Peace, glorious Peace, will gladden our hearts be- 
fore the spring flowers bloom again. 

It is the fairest of May days and Mamma has gone to 
church. I stayed with Johnny, who is feeling unwell and is 
in bed. Mamma will find it unpleasantly warm walking that 
mile from church. Oh, for a carriage! My ambition reaches 
out only for a carriage and a riding horse for Johnny, then 
I shall be satisfied for a little while. I doubt that I was 
ever intended for a poor girl. Deprivations go hard with me. 
Mamma has more strength of mind than to worry about it. 

A wagon just arrived from the prairie loaded with eatables 
and some of the " wherewithal." Not a cent of money in the 
house for a week and only hard fare. As the wagon has come, 
Jimmy's trip was useless. All the Negroes are well and affairs 
are flourishing in that land of desolation. The last few days 
have been as dismal as a rainy Sunday. We miss Julia. No 
letters, no visitors, and even the boys have half-way deserted 

18 Dalton, Ga., in the campaign against Atlanta. The reports of these 
successes were highly exaggerated. 


us. They are much at the hospital with Lt. Story. The 
refugee children have all stopped school except Sister- 
Emily and Annie because Mrs. Savage is so lonely and Katie 
Carson is sick. Mrs. Savage grows ruder every day. She is 
so often rough and unkind in her speech that the boys all 
stand in terror of her tongue and will hardly venture to go 

[Tyler, Tex.] May SO: Our first busy day this spring, sew- 
ing on the cloth from the prairie. We are at last using home- 
spun. Hemmed a dozen towels today, looking much like the 
dish towels of old. Little Sister is to have an outfit from 
the same piece, but she quite glories in the idea of wearing 
homespun and coming out a regular Texan. The house ser- 
vants are charmed to see the cloth. They have been fit 
suspects for the ragman for weeks. Mamma is readying up 
Charles, who has been a regular ragamuffin. We are sorry- 
Adeline, the seamstress, selected this as a fit time to run 
away. It keeps our hands full. Mamma sent Felix back to 
Mr. Smith and has Thomas in his place. We think he will 
be an improvement. Johnny is up today. Willy spent the 
day with him, and they had great romps until the other boys 
came up from school and carried him off. Pompey, Joe's boy, 
is home on furlough. The command has been in several 
skirmishes on Red River but are now at Trenton [La.]. 

[Tyler, Tex.] May 31: The rain upset numerous plans 
for the day, but Capt. Buck came in a pelting shower. He 
is pleasant and evidently counts himself a widower, but he 
is not. Kate and Sister came running in out of the rain, wild 
and eager, bursting in like a tornado. What inseparable 
friends they are. Katie still patters around home barefooted, 
much to Eddie's disgust. 19 Mrs. Carson came for Katie and 

19 Barefoot little Katie grew up to become a lady. She married Clifton 
Rodes Breckinridge, son of John Cabell Breckinridge, Vice-President of 
the United States during Buchanan's administration, at Memphis, 
November 21, 1876. Clifton Breckinridge entered the military service 
of the Confederacy at fifteen, and after the war was a planter in 
Arkansas. He was elected to the U. S. Congress in 1882 and 1884 and in 
1894 was made Minister to Russia, which position he held until 1897. 
Biographical Directory of the American Congress. 


went home with fever, as Johnny told us, after galloping 
over there just in time for supper to see Willy, who is suffer- 
ing with his arm. 

A long letter just received from Mr. Valentine in answer 
to mine of February. He writes so affectionately that I know 
he has a strong attachment for all of us. They slandered him 
who said he had no heart. He is a man of warm feeling. I 
was aghast to hear that he at once dispatched my letter to 
Lt. Valentine after reading it to the assembled household. 
I do not fancy young Mark reading and criticizing my letter 
to his comrades around the campfire. I shall write the old 
gentleman that my letters are entirely for his home con- 

I hear Emily's French every morning. She has been study- 
ing it for two years, but one would think she had but just 

Mrs. Carson spent several hours but would not stay to 
dinner. The two families would certainly miss each other 
were they separated. 

Pompey and Dan should certainly have their pictures 
taken. They are the most independent and consequential 
personages in Tyler. They speak very learnedly of their fur- 
loughs and have wordy debates on the subject of rank. Pom- 
pey maintains that he and Marse Joe outrank Dan and 
Marse Willy by reason of their longer service and doing more 
duty in the field, a fact that Dan is loth to admit. Pompey is 
quite contemptuous in speaking of Marse Willy and Dan as 
holiday soldiers and speaks with great respect of the pleas- 
ures of a campaign across the river where they have " so 
much more fun fighting and shooting/' 

Owe a number of calls but cannot pay them yet as " our 
crop " and garden are in the grass. 

[Tyler, Tex.] June 1: Have been busy tonight packing 
my clothes for an early start in the morning. Mrs. Prentice, 
Emily, and I are going to see Mrs. Richardson at Rusk. Mrs. 
Prentice goes on business, we on pleasure. Jimmy Stone 
would go with us, but Emily makes such a goose of herself 
about him that he will not go. 


Adeline got back today from her " rustication " so we turn 
the sewing over to her. Johnny's occupation today is paying 
up debts. Never were debtors more eager to pay or creditors 
so loth to receive. All want to wait for the new issue. 20 Made 
Lela Lawrence a pretty fan today, but Jimmy has not the 
handle ready yet. Jimmy Carson and I have been having 
some charming rides over the steep hills and through the 
deep valleys, all fragrant with the breath of flowers. 

[Tyler, Tex.] June 6: Nearly a week of rain and I am 
ennuyee to death. No visitors, no books, no letters, no any- 
thing. We returned on Sunday much to Emily and my dis- 
satisfaction, though Mrs. Richardson was not at home and 
Mrs. Prentice was quite contrary. We found Mrs. Prentice 
just a bundle of crochets. She insisted on our walking up and 
down nearly every hill on the road, and it is a succession of 
long, rocky, red hills. When we reached Judge Richardson's 
late that afternoon, Emily and I were completely broken 
down, but a nice supper and comfortable bed set us up 
again. Coming back, we asserted our reserved rights and 
walked up half the hills. Emily and I spent Saturday alone 
at Judge Richardson's and had a lovely time. The Judge 
and Mrs. Prentice went off on business, and Emily and I took 
possession of comfortable rocking chairs on a low shady gal- 
lery with plently of books and a basket of green apples. Just 
as we were tiring of these luxuries, a gentleman, a refugee as 
we discovered, came to call on the Judge and made himself 
very entertaining for the rest of the morning. We compared 
notes on Texas, and I fear we rendered harsh judgment. 

The Richardsons live in a secluded spot five miles from 
Henderson 21 but have more comforts than anyone we know. 
With few neighbors, it must be awfully lonely with only her 
little girl and Judge Richardson. Letters from Sarah Wadley 
from Homer [La.] where she is visiting the Barrs. 

20 ' 

} The Confederate Congress adopted a measure on February 17, 
1864, to reduce the currency by compelling noteholders to fund their 
notes for bonds or exchange them for new notes. R. C. Todd, Con- 
federate Finance (Athens, Ga., 1954) , 112-13. 

21 County seat of Rusk County, established in 1843. 


All the Carson boys have gone out to the plantation. Mrs. 
Carson is much worried by her overseer who is managing her 
affairs dreadfully. 

We have had quite a little affair with Mrs. Carson on the 
subject of buying blankets. She has a dozen pairs packed 
up. She should blush whenever she hears a blanket men- 
tioned. She is most peculiar and selfish. It grows on her. 
She had rather Jimmy Stone would freeze to death in the 
army than to sell one of those packed up blankets treasur- 
ing them for what greater need than now? 

[Tyler, Tex.] June 14: Comfortably seated by an open 
window in our lone rocking chair, I am munching Con- 
federate cakes 22 all alone with nothing to do. Jimmy has 
galloped off to take a ride with " Mith Emily." Johnny is 
lying on his stomach with his heels in the air, under the spell 
of The Wizard of the North absorbed in Ivanhoe?* Johnny 
has taken great delight in Shakespeare and reads and re- 
reads his favorite plays. He is already a good Shakespearean 
scholar. Sister is amusing herself with Sally, and the others 
are off spending this day with Mrs. Prentice. If there is 
one thing I most detest, it is spending a long summer day 
away from home. 

Mr. Bowman spent a few hours yesterday. He was taking 
home his overseer who had been wounded in the mouth and 
who is besides rather dodging the conscript officer. 

Jimmy received a letter from Mr. Hardison telling of Mrs. 
Hardison's death in February. We are truly grieved to hear 
it. She was a high-minded good woman and one of our best 
friends. She died in Red River County, 21 where they have 
been living since fall. Her life was a scene of trial from the 
time they fled from home. He writes most sadly. They have 
no books, no papers, hear no news, and have made no new 
friends and are alone on the bleak prairie, strangers in a 

22 Since sugar was virtually non-existent in the Confederacy after 
1862, these cakes were probably made from a mixture of cornmeal and 

28 By Sir Walter Scott, published in 1819. 
24 Northeast of Tyler about seventy miles. 


strange land. We pity them all but most, her poor mother, 
Mrs. Alexander. 

Anna and Dr. Meagher returned a few days ago. He is 
stationed here now in charge of the Yankee prisoners .^ The 
prisoners are in a most pitiable condition, perfectly destitute. 
Some have only a blanket to wear and others only one gar- 
ment. There is much sickness and death among them and the 
authorities are powerless to get clothes for them. No clothes 
or blankets to be bought. 25 

Here come the boys. 

[Tyler, Tex.] June 19: A letter from My Brother but 
dated three months ago.' He writes very sadly and thinks he 
will not see us again until the war is over. He was safe on 
the fourth of May, but it was on the fifth that those terrible 
battles commenced. We see from the papers that his corps 
was engaged every day. The fate of Richmond still trembles 
in the balance. Lee's army has fallen back within the forti- 
fications, and Grant is beginning to burrow as they did at 
Vicksburg. The most thrilling report is that Beauregard 
has captured Butler and 9,000 men. May it only be true. 
Louisianians would certainly shout with joy. 26 Long letters 
from Joe. They are still at Trenton [La.]. 

We have quite a trip in contemplation. Mamma is think- 
ing of going to Monroe [La.] on business and taking me and 
one of the boys on for a pleasure jaunt. Which one of the 
boys depends on Mrs. Savage, who thinks of joining us with 
Emily. In that event Mamma will leave Jimmy at home as 

25 Shortage of food and clothing throughout the South generally made 
the problem of providing for prisoners an acute one. Camp Ford at 
Tyler once held as many as 6,000 prisoners in its ten-acre stockade. 
Conditions at Camp Ford doubtless were never as bad as they were at 
some Southern prisons, Woldert, A History of Tyler, 39-40. For 
accounts of prison life at Camp Ford by inmates, see A. J. EL Duganne, 
Camps and Prisons, Twenty Months in the Department of the Gulf 
(New York, 1865); and Charles C. Nott, Sketches in Prison Camps 
(New York, 1865) . 

^ 26 The rumor was not true. " Beast " Butler, for so Louisianians con- 
tinued to call him, succeeded in evading Beauregard's attempt to cut 
him off from his base of supply in the Battle of Brewery's Bluff, Va., 
April 16, 1864. Douglas Southall Freeman, Lee's Lieutenants; A Study 
in Command (New York, 1943) , III; 483-94. 


affairs are getting too interesting with Jimmy and Emily. He 
is too susceptible, and Mrs. Savage is too much of a match- 
maker for Jimmy to be hourly exposed to such fascination 
for the next two weeks. Emily is a designing, forward girl, 
exceedingly so for her age. Jimmy is making every prepara- 
tion to go with us and join the army at Monroe and will be 
horribly disappointed if Mamma refuses her consent. 

Our usual refugee visitors. Yesterday evening returning 
from a ride, Jimmy and I were called in by Mrs. Carson, who 
begged us to stay to supper, at which we enjoyed delightful 
venison, killed by Jimmy Carson, and some of Mrs. Carson's 
new style marmalade excellent. Read the papers to Mrs. 
Carson and rode home in the most glorious moonlight. 

Mamma is very sad since receiving My Brother's letter. 
She is very anxious about him. We have a nice set of real 
chessmen, made by one of the prisoners. We loaned them 
some days ago to the hospital in response to a polite note 
asking for them. The boys often go there. They have taken 
a great fancy to Mr. Griffin, a wounded boy. He must be a 
nice young fellow. Mamma and Mrs. Carson and some of the 
other ladies go quite frequently. 

[Tyler, Tex.] June 26\ This has been a busy week, clouded 
by the thought of Jimmy's departure. We are finishing off 
his clothes and renovating ours, for we will go with him as 
far as Monroe. Mrs. Savage and Emily will accompany us 
as far as Mrs. Norris'. What dampens our pleasure is the 
idea of going in that horrid old Jersey. We have had our 
own trials patching up our clothes. We had no idea we were 
so near being ragamuffins until we took an exhaustive survey 
of our underclothes. Oh, for bolts and bolts and more bolts 
of white domestic. If Mamma's trip proves successful, we 
will be able to better our condition as regards habiliments. 
Mamma is having quite a store of Texas goodies made up, 
such as Confederate cakes, " grape bully " 2T and such, to 
solace the inner man while on the road. 

27 This may have been grape butter, made by boiling the pulp of 
grapes down to a thick mass, then spreading it over a thin cloth to dry. 
Removed from the cloth, the dried butter could be chewed like dried 
beef or reduced to a mass again by boiling. 


Hearing Mrs. Carson was sick, I rode over late in the 
evening with Eddie and Johnny to see her. Found her in bed 
looking very lonely. All the children away. At her earnest 
solicitation, we stayed to tea and late bedtime. Quite a 
pleasant evening. Katie and the boys are so pleased to have 
company. It was very dark riding in the woods, and I made 
firm resolves against riding horseback again at night, resolves 
I shall break this evening by going with Jimmy to say good- 
bye to Mrs. Prentice. She is very fond of him. The boys are 
off on their last grand hunt together in the morning. Mr. 
Michele, Miss Grissman, Dr. McGregor, Maj. Isaacson, Mrs. 
Savage's family, Mrs. Anderson, a delightful new acquaint- 
ance, and Maj. Randall are coming out this evening. 

Friday there was a grand Masonic celebration that we, in 
common with all the town and county, turned out to see. 
Mr. Michele took possession of our party and Sally Grissman 
and established us in the most pleasant and also most con- 
spicuous seats and then devoted himself to our entertainment. 
Lt. Alexander and Dr. McGregor took possession of a nearby 
window, and we all had a merry morning but did not profit 
by the speeches. A large crowd and barbecue dinner that Mr. 
Michele insisted was not clean enough for us to eat. " Why," 
said he, " should we dine with plebians? " I hope no native 
heard him. We went out, as Mamma said, " to see the animals 
feed." Then we (the select few) returned home to dinner, 
Mr. Michele remaining until night. He is a most amusingly 
entertaining companion and does so bemoan the absence of 
his wife. That night there was a party given at the hotel by 
Col. Anderson. He is in command, I think, of the Ordnance 
Department 2S here and is an old army officer. His wife is 
charming. Emily and I went, to our surprise, and spent a 
charming evening. It was a most mixed and odd-looking 
crowd. Neither Emily nor I possessed a party dress, but we 
did not bring discredit on the swamp and looked well enough. 
I did not think two months ago I would ever dance or care 
to talk nonsense again. But one grows callous to suffering 

28 An ordnance depot in connection with an ammunition factory was 
established in Tyler about 1862. Woldert, A History of Tyler, 42. 


and death. We can live only in the present, only from day to 
day. We cannot bear to think of the past and so dread the 
future. The refugees remind me of the description of the life 
of the nobility of France lived during the days of the French 
Revolution thrusting all the cares and tragedies of life aside 
and drinking deep of life's joys while it lasted. This was 
our debut in Tyler society, and without self-flattery I may 
say we were quite a success. 

I took a buggy ride yesterday with Dr. McGregor, who 
has a fine span of horses, and we just flew up and down 
(specially down) the hills. Enjoyed it highly, though I did 
think we would capsize on every hill we rushed down. On 
our return all the boys met us at the gate and could scarcely 
contain themselves at such a splendid opportunity for teas- 
ing, but the dread of future punishment at my hands kept 
them fairly in bounds. 

A letter from Julia. She is to be married about this time 
and so regrets our absence and that I cannot be first 

[Near Oak Ridge, La.] 29 Aug. 23: Mamma and I came 
out to Monroe [La.] and Jimmy joined the army. 30 Mamma 
and I stopped here at Col. Templeton's, and then Mamma 
went on to the river and stayed with Mrs. Newman. She 
went in the old Jersey but came back in the pretty carriage 
that we have been wanting ever since we left home. She 
brought out a carriage load of dry goods that were most 
welcome. After staying here a few days, she returned to 
Monroe for a little stay with Mrs. Wadley and then on home 
by way of Homer where so many of our friends are estab- 
lished. We stopped there coming out, and they greeted us 
most cordially. We could not make much of a visit as Jimmy 
and Mamma were anxious to get on. Mrs. Templeton's 
family all insisted on my remaining with them until fall, and 

29 About twenty-five miles northeast of Monroe, La., in Morehouse 

80 Jimmy joined Colonel Isaac F. Harrison's brigade, an independent 
calvary regiment organized in the area in 1863. Williamson, North- 
east Louisiana, 157. 


then I could go back to Texas with Col. Templeton, who 
will go out to where the Negroes are beyond Tyler. Jimmy's 
command was camped near here and I could see much of 
him. Mamma and I knew it would be a delightful visit, and 
as she unselfishly and I selfishly wanted to stay, I did so 
and am having a most lovely time. All the family are so kind. 

We are just back from a spend-the-day at Dr. Stewart's. 
Saw Cols. McNeils and Capers pass on their way to Oak 
Ridge to go into camp there again. Sitting in the hall, we 
caught the sound of the refugee whistle and soon Jimmy 
Stone and Willy Carson came walking up. Willy is just from 
Tyler. He joined his company last night and reports all well 
at home. Nothing new or strange going on with our friends 
there. His arm seems stiffer than when we saw him last. He 
passed through Shreveport the day after Mamma did. 

What a horrible tragedy, the death of Mrs. Hull's two 
brothers, hanged as spies in Missouri where they had gone 
in disguise to recruit for Col. Hull's regiment. They were 
with him but he escaped and had the hardihood to go and 
see them hanged with the faint hope that he might effect 
their escape. But of course that was hopeless. He made his 
way out of the state with some men and met a number who 
knew him but was not betrayed. The men hanged were two 
gallant young officers of excellent family. I cannot recall 
their names just now, but their father was the editor and 
proprietor of one of the leading St. Louis papers and left a 
large fortune. Poor Mrs. Hull is heartbroken. 

It is very warm but we enjoy our ease with open doors 
and windows, undressed and lounging around. No gentlemen 
staying in the house to molest or make us afraid. Emmie 
is busy on a dress that she has had on hand for two weeks. 
Mary is practising a delightful concord of sweet sounds, and 
I have been working on a flannel shirt for Jimmy. He and 
Joe passed several days with us last week pleasant to us 
all. Jimmy is looking quite well and is in high spirits. Joe 
does not look well but is more cheerful than when he first 

[Near Oak Ridge, La.] Sept. 2: Mrs. and Col. Templeton 


are entertaining a Mr. Massengale, just from Texas with 
news of Capt. Jack Wylie. We may look for him any day 
now. He will bring three beautiful horses, which we three 
girls have already appropriated in imagination and expect to 
race over the whole countryside. 

I am too used up by my ride, or rather run, of yesterday 
to do anything. We have been very busy for the last ten 
days, riding, sewing, singing, receiving visitors, and playing, 
but now that the Brigade has gone out to Tensas Parish, we 
will be quiet for a time. Even Walker's division is passing 
through en route to Arkansas, and so for the present we are 
left defenseless. 31 

The boys and Capt. Ewing were over frequently. Capt. 
Ewing is a captive of Em's bow and spear and Jimmy Stone 
is following suit. Unfortunately for my pleasure, the report 
is abroad that I am engaged. There is no truth in it, and 
it deprives me of much fun. 

Lou and Mrs. Morris spent a night here this week, emerg- 
ing from the swamp about 12 o'clock, pitch dark and rainy, 
on horseback, their carriage embedded in the mud. Mr. Tem- 
pleton had to send horses to their relief, and it was late 
before the carriage could be brought out next day. They 
were quite worn out from the fatigue and the fright of being 
in the dark swamp alone with nobody but their driver. They 
came out to see the Morris boys before the command left but 
too late. Mamma stayed several days in Homer on her way 
back. I know she enjoyed it. I hope to make them all a visit 
on our return trip. 

Mary, Em, and I have a lovely scheme on foot. We all 
want to go out to Texas with Col. Templeton with a baggage 
wagon, on three red horses with sidesaddles with Jimmy and 
Joe as outriders. Mary wants to know where her fun comes 

31 General Walker left the division on June 17 to become commander 
of the District of Western Louisiana. He was succeeded by Major 
General John H. Forney. The division was in Monroe September 6-14, 
passed through Bastrop September 17, and arrived at Monticello, Ark. ? 
September 20. An attack on Camden by General Stecle was expected. 
Blessington, Walker's Texas Division, 70-77. 


in if there are to be only two outriders. We could stop 
nearly every night with some friend, as we did coming out. 

I have finished all of Jimmy's clothes and two dresses for 
myself, and I feel a real Louisianian once more in the very 
heart of the swamp^ suffocating with the heat, fighting 
mosquitoes, lazy and languid, little appetite, but luxuriating 
on fruit for breakfast, dinner, and supper and enjoying curds 
and cream. The swamp is my own dear land most natural, 
most restful. 

Mamma's trip to Yankeeland did much good to all of us. 
The carriage, and such a delightful one, is a great triumph. 
The dry goods are the greatest comfort, relieving our present 
necessities, and the books and papers are great entertain- 
ment. Some new songs were sent me by Mr. Reigart and 
Mrs. Newman or Miss Bettie Carter "Just Before the 
Battle Mother/ 5 " The Vacant Chair/ 3 and others. In the 
swamp Mamma saw and heard so much it was a treat to 
hear her. Joe expects soon to be made lieutenant. Willy is 
sergeant major. Jimmy likes camp life so much. I am glad 
he has given up the idea of joining Col. Hull's command. 
Not a line from home. Jimmy and Joe spent the evening 
before the Brigade left and slipped off and came to breakfast 
next morning. They stayed until after dinner but expected 
to catch up with their command that night. It is not a 
dangerous expedition and they will soon be back. 

[Near Oak Ridge, La.] Sept. 5: Intense excitement in 
the neighborhood. Yankees reported advancing in large force 
destroying, burning, and murdering as they come!! Capt. 
Lea with his small band of guerrillas contesting every mile 
of the way but being steadily forced back by superior 
numbers! Praying Col. Parsons, who has the only troops 
near, for reinforcements, but who refuses to send them as 
he is under stringent orders and making forced marches! 32 
Blank consternation among the citizens who hear that the 
Federals have vowed vengeance against this section on ac- 

82 Colonel M. M. Parsons commanded a brigade under General Price 
whose headquarters was in Arkansas. 


count of Capt. Lea and his guerrillas. 33 Everyone is pre- 
paring to flee the wrath to come. 

Such were the startling reports brought to Col. Templeton 
by terrified Mr. Philips this morning, frightening us nearly 
to death, for great is our horror of the vandal hordes since 
their ruthless destruction of Floyd and Pin Hook and their 
outrageous conduct at those doomed places. Mrs. Templeton 
soon had everything arranged for our rapid flight through the 
swamp across the Ouachita to the safe haven of Col. Wad- 
ley's home, should the reports prove true, leaving Mrs. 
Templeton and Mrs. Savage here to brave the storm, Col. 
Templeton going with us. We were on the qui vive all day 
looking for a mounted messenger galloping up through the 
wooded lawn shouting, " Flee, Flee." But about sunset the 
tension relaxed. We heard that the Yankees came out only as 
far as Floyd on a reconnaisance and are retiring to the river, 
and so we breathe freely once more. 

The Yankee raids are no joke, though we laugh at each 
other for being frightened. Last week 200 of the Corps 
D'Afrique, 3 * officered by six big white men (wretches they 
are) , came out and laid the two little villages of Floyd and 
Pin Hook in ashes, not allowing the people to remove any 
of their possessions from their houses and thus leaving them 
utterly destitute. They were very rough and insulting in 
their language to the ladies, tore the pockets from their 
dresses and the rings from their fingers, cursing and swearing, 
and frightening the helpless folks nearly into fits. This was 
done in revenge for a guerrilla raid a few days before, in 
which a good many government stores were destroyed and 
eighty or ninety Negroes brought out. The Yankees know 
they make it ten times worse for us by sending Negroes to 
commit these atrocities. The Paternal Government at Wash- 

88 Though guerrilla activity continually went on in northeast Louisiana 
from early 1863 until the end of the war, records of the operations of 
guerrilla bands are fragmentary or non-existent. Captain Joseph C. Lea 
was the leader of one of these guerrilla organizations. 

3 * A brigade of Negro soldiers under Colonel Isaac J. Shepard was 
stationed at Milliken's Bend and Goodrich's Landing at the end of the 
siege of Vicksburg in 1863. There is no record of how many of these 
troops were still in the area in 1864. Battles and Leaders, HI, 549. 


ington has done all in its power to incite a general insurrec- 
tion throughout the South, in the hopes of thus getting rid of 
the women and children in one grand holocaust. We would 
be practically helpless should the Negroes rise, since there 
are so few men left at home. It is only because the Negroes 
do not want to kill us that we are still alive. The Negroes 
have behaved well, far better than anyone anticipated. They 
have not shown themselves revengeful, have been most 
biddable, and in many cases have been the only mainstay of 
of their owners. 

Five or six citizens, unarmed, were murdered by the Yan- 
kees in that Floyd raid. How thankful I am we left home 
when we did. To lose everything is bad, but constant terror 
and insult are worse. 

The guerrillas report that the cotton crop on the river is 
a complete failure, entirely eaten up by the worms. The 
fields are swept of every vestige of green and there is hardly 
a matured boll to a stalk. This news rejoices our very hearts. 
Those are true " Confederate worms," working for the good 
of the Cause. 35 

Emmie and I are practising singing. Neither of us is gifted 
with the voice of a siren, but enough to amuse the non- 
critical. Am making a calico dress which promises to be a 
love, if I can only get it long enough. 

[Near Oak Ridge, La.] Sept. 10: The famed Brigade is 
back again after its hurried trip to Tensas, during which it 
managed to capture sixteen Yankees, kill three, and kill five 
of its own men by a badly placed ambuscade. The object 
of the march was to take possession of a gunboat that was 
to be given up by treachery, but it proved a fiasco. Our 
opinion is that the officers all got on a grand spree and so 
failed at the critical time. Too disgraceful if true. Jimmy 
and Joe were two who volunteered to board the boat when 
volunteers were called for. I think there were eighty in all, 
but it proved they were not to board the gunboat but to 

35 The reference here is to the " abandoned " plantations being oper- 
ated by Northerners. 


form an ambuscade. How near death they were when they 
stood firing within fifteen paces of each other. It makes one 
shudder to think of it. What unnecessary risk and such 
culpable ignorance in the man who placed the ambuscade. 80 

Jimmy came down the first night. We had been riding 
and met him on the way. Maj. Purvis and Capt. Erwin 
spent yesterday with us, and as Mrs. Templeton was away 
at Bastrop, 37 they were on our hands all day, which proved 
a very pleasant one. We sang and played the new songs and 
pieces for them, and they taught us cassino. We expect 
several of the " brass mounted " this evening. Soldiers, 
soldiers everywhere. Two sick ones were here for several 
days. The only remark one volunteered while here was when 
I refused cabbage " Wai, you don't like cabbage, but you 
are death on curd." His manner and tone amused us all. 

Em is complaining and Mrs. Templeton has administered 
her panacea for all ills, a quinine pill. Mrs. Templeton makes 
her girls swallow a pill at any and all times, and they are so 
hardened by long usage they do not mind it at all. Mrs. 
Templeton is a most anxious, nagging mother, perfectly 
devoted to her daughters, but at times they must find her 
trying. I am thankful for our Mother. She is so free of fads 
and fancies, so eminently sensible. 

' Several days of luxurious idleness for us all. Nobody with 
any sewing on hand. I am absorbed in Zanoni. 3S There are 
some fine roses here, and they are in fullest bloom. We wear 
them morning, noon, and night. " They are not born to blush 
unseen " while we girls and some soldiers are around. 

[Near Oak Ridge, La.] Sept. 21: Our soldiers of Gen. 
Isaac Harrison's brigade bade us adieu a week ago starting 
on their long expected march into Arkansas. 30 Since which 
time we have been very quiet, only occasionally indulging 
in wild gallops over the country, frightening Mrs. Templeton 

86 These were troops of Harrison's brigade. 

37 Bastrop is about twenty-five miles northeast, of Monroe. 

38 Bulwer's fourteenth novel, published in 1842. 

39 Harrison's brigade was ordered into Arkansas to join other Con- 
federate tioops there in anticipation of a Federal attack on Camden. 


so that the last time she gave us all a good scolding and we 
promised to amble along more demurely in the future. But 
there is such excitement in a dashing run over good roads, 
well-shaded these fair fall days, that it is hard to restrain 
both ourselves and the horses. Much reading, a little sewing, 
and much idle lounging and jesting fill up the measure of 
our days, while the nights are filled with music and much 
sentimentalizing on the broad front gallery in the bright 
moonlight. Some of the soldiers were down most of the time 
and kept us amused. 

[Near Oak Ridge, La.] Sept. 27: Capt. Wylie arrived the 
other day. He looks much like Mr. W. Wylie. He makes 
himself quite agreeable. I have just beaten both him and 
Mary a game of chess, and now they are playing a game 
together. A ride last evening. I mounted Capt. Gillispie's 
pet horse, War Eagle, which is remaining here while his 
master is away in Arkansas. He is delightful, like his master 
free and easy. " The Jack of Spades," otherwise Mr. Mickie, 
or Mickey (?) , attended us and remained all night. Card 
playing and singing kept us up until after twelve. Mr. 
Mickie is one of Em's devoteds. We all rode up to Oak Ridge 
to church but there was no preacher. On our return we found 
Capt. Chambliss here, just from Tyler but with nothing of 
note to tell us. 

We hear of the lamentable fall of Atlanta * and rumors 
of its recapture, which we trust may be true. There is no 
further fear of a Yankee raid as there are very few troops 
left at Goodrich's Landing, and everyone seems to look for 
peace in the spring. 

Capt. Wylie brought letters from Mamma. She says she 
cannot send for me, and so I must needs resign myself to a 
lengthy stay here until CoL Temple ton is ready for his Texas 
trip. The Templetons are all exceedingly kind and certainly 
seem to like me to stay. Johnny writes an amusing letter to 
the boys which, as it is enclosed in mine and they are far 
away, I take the liberty of reading. I am glad the little fellow 

40 On September 2, 1864. 


has a horse at last. What an intelligent, precocious boy he is. 
I wish Mamma could have sent him for me, but it is such 
a long expensive trip. 

An amusing letter from Missie Morris in which she utterly 
repudiates the idea of our giving up as " Old Maids " for 
two years yet, when she will be willing to lay down the 
flower-wreathed scepter of girlhood and don the badge of 
spins terhood. 

Capt. Gillispie came in two days ago and has kept the 
house in an uproar ever since. He is overflowing with fun 
and frolic but is rather too familiar and something rude. He 
does not improve on acquaintance. I fear he is fast, a perfect 
opposite to tiny Mr. Kurrie[?], who came with him. We 
thought him at first about twelve years old, so quiet and 
solemn. He really is twenty. Capt. Gillispie taught us two 
new songs, " Who Will Care for Mother Now? " and " Paul 
Vane," an answer to " Lorena," but not so pretty. 41 Wrote 
to Jimmy by Capt. Gillispie and sent Johnny's letter. We all 
went Saturday to Mr. Mickie's and had a most enjoyable 
time. They are most hospitable and live delightfully in the 
old style. A long, low, roomy house, gardens, orchards, and 
flowers, plently of servants, and an abundant larder. Must 
stop and go to ride with Capt. Wylie. 

[Near Oak Ridge, La.] Oct. 15: We have kept on the 
even tenor of our ways with no hairbreadth escapes by land 
or sea to ruffle the calm. There are still occasional reports of 
advancing Yankee raids, but all blow over and no Yankees 
yet, though this country is still defenseless. "Harrison's 
gallant Ouachita braves " are still in Arkansas, scouting near 
Pine BluJff . Em and I are kept in a state of pleasurable ex- 
citement by constant rumors of their swift return, but " they 
come not, oh no, they come not." From Joe's last letter it 
will be long before we welcome them back. 

41 "Lorena'* was the most popular love song in the Confederacy. 
First published in Chicago in 1857, it became the favorite of both sol- 
diers and civilians during the war. " Paul Vane; or, Lorena's Reply " was 
by the same composers, Rev. H. D. L. Webster and J. P. Webster (no 
relation) . " Who Will Care for Mother Now? " was a popular senti- 
mental song by Charles C. Sawyer. Harwell, Confederate Music, 86-87. 


We have little company and pay few visits, but we enjoy 
the days, and the weeks fly by like magic no startling 
events to mark them off. Capt. Wylie and Dr. Wylie are 
here. They amuse themselves during the day, but in the 
evening we all assemble, play chess or cards, and carry on 
long and animated discussions on all topics under the sun. 
All the older members of the family are very fond of argu- 
ment and discussion and are thoughtful talkers and well 
educated, though one must know them some time before 
finding that last out. We made a rule fining everyone for 
each lapse in grammar, which worked famously for awhile, 
until we found we would soon all be bankrupt in both purse 
and temper, and by tacit consent it was dropped and gram- 
mar is no more alluded to. Mrs. Templeton said she knew 
she would never be fined. She knew every rule in the book, 
but she was the first and most grievous offender and hated 
worst to be reported. We all stay up until " the wee sma 
hours ayant the twae " when the gentlemen retire. We 
lounge in rocking chairs building fairy castles in the air, 
mapping out lives of goodness and noble endeavor, until Mrs. 
Templeton rouses from her half-doze on the bed and sends 
us all to rest. 

I am victor over Capt. Wylie in chess, and Dr. Wylie and 
I are victors over the entire household in cards. Capt. Wylie 
and I generally play several games of chess every day. I 
like him better than at first. He is very lively and a great 
tease. We have occasional disagreements, but he always 
comes to terms. 

Em and I came very near having our last ride a few days 
ago. We went out alone for the first time, and on our return, 
racing as fast as our horses could carry us, we wheeled in 
suddenly to the gate. Em lost her balance and was thrown 
backward off the horse. We were dreadfully frightened. I 
was afraid she was seriously injured. It was such a hard fall, 
but she was up in an instant and only slightly bruised. As 
soon as she saw her slight injuries, she was only anxious to 
keep the adventure from her mother as she knew it would be 
the knell of all horseback riding for her. So she bound all 


the witnesses to silence. But I watched her closely for several 
days and, had she shown any symptoms of injury, would 
surely have made full confession. But as poor Em says, 
" Mamma does scold so provokingly." We have not ridden 

Mamma's last letter enclosed one from Uncle Bo, our first 
for two years. He writes so affectionately. He says he is 
longing so to see us, calls me his dearest niece, and says he 
would give anything to be in service on this side of the river 
so as to be near us. How I long to see him. 

My Brother and Jimmy's birthday has passed one 
twenty-five, the other eighteen. How old we are growing. 
A long letter from Julia Street, as affectionate and gay as 
Julia Reed's letters. Jimmy saw her as he passed through 

Our pleasant days are drawing to a close as Mamma writes 
she will send Johnny at once for me, and we are looking for 
him every day. Capt. Brigham rode in from Monroe to tell 
us that the long expected tableau would come off the next 
evening and that he had come in to escort us out. Early the 
next morning we three girls and Sally McGraw with Jimmy, 
Capt. Wylie, and Capt. Brigham as outriders and the maid 
Henrietta bringing up the rear, made our way to Monroe 
under many difficulties. We had a most trying time after 
reaching there, owing to Capt. Brigham's blundering. We 
did not enjoy the tableau as we were too worried and were 
thankful to be all safe at Mrs. Templeton's next evening. 

[Near Oak Ridge, La.] Oct. 30: The last time I shall 
write here. Johnny arrived with the carriage two days ago, 
and we start home tomorrow. This will end a most pleasant 
visit, or rather visitation, for I have been here more than 
three months. All the family have been unfailingly kind and 
have done all in their power to make me enjoy the time. I 
certainly have had a most charming visit and grieve to leave 
them. Then I shall have to break off two most promising 
flirtations. My only comfort is in thinking of the lovely trip 
Johnny and I are going to have a comfortable carriage well 
stocked with lunches, a good driver, strong mules, no hurry, 


and a lodging every night with friends, good roads, and fair 
October weather. 

Johnny saw Jimmy and the other soldiers in Monroe on 
their way to Alexandria. Jimmy, Joe, and Capt. Ewing came 
down to see us as the Brigade passed through Bastrop. They 
stayed two days. 

Johnny heard as he passed through Shreveport that Uncle 
Austin was to be married this week to Miss Nannie Simple, 
a girl of twenty-three younger than either of his daughters. 

[On the road to Texas] Nov. ?: We got off from Col. 
Templeton's Monday morning, all sorry to part after a de- 
lightful summer and fall with not a disagreeable incident to 
mar our intercourse. They have been the soul of kindness to 
me, one and all. The direct road through the swamp is 
impassable, and so Capt. Wylie piloted us a new route. Capt. 
Wylie, Johnny, and I were on horseback, and about 2 o'clock 
we reached the hill road without getting bogged down as 
Johnny had in coming through the old road. We dismounted, 
entered the carriage, and bade Capt. Wylie a warm farewell, 
thanking him for his many courtesies. He says we will see 
him at Christmas, but that depends on letters between now 
and then. I judge it will be useless for him to come. Col. 
Cochran had made himself very agreeable for some weeks. 
He also came for adieux. I think he and Sally McGraw will 
eventually make a match. 

It was a rainy day and we did not reach Monroe until 
about sunset. Capt. Brigham met us, and we waved him 
adieu as we crossed the Ouachita on a flat. We passed the 
night at Mrs. Scale's at Trenton, much to Johnny's disgust 
as he does not like them. Some gentlemen called, and we had 
cards. After they left, Lucy and I tried our fortunes in divers 
ways as it was " All Hallow'e'en." We tried all magic arts 
and had a merry frolic, but no future lord and master came 
to turn our wet garments hanging before the fire. There were 
no ghostly footprints in the meal sprinkled behind the door. 
No bearded face looked over our shoulders as we ate the 
apples before the glass. No knightly forms of soldiers brave 
disturbed our dreams after eating the white of an egg half- 


filled with salt. 42 We waked in the morning to hear the rain 
pattering on the roof, but notwithstanding we drove on to 
Mrs. Wadley's, Lucy going with us. We passed two days 
there most pleasantly. We were so glad to see them all again. 
Nothing had changed. They were just the same as when we 
bade them good-bye when we started to Texas. Only Wil- 
liam Wadley was away in Texas, suffering from an affection 
of the heart, Sarah told me. His mother had just succeeded 
in breaking up an engagement with a girl that she considered 
beneath him socially, and he was not at all pleased. 

The third morning we left in a cold drizzling rain with a 
splendid lunch and a jar of pickles, and with kisses and good 
wishes of the family. I had a raging toothache, because of 
sitting all day in wet shoes after passing the swamp. Capt. 
Wylie's solicitude on the subject of my thin, wet shoes was 
not uncalled for at last. 

Our trip to Vienna was disagreeable. We stopped at 
twelve, built a fire, enjoyed our dinner, and then smoked 
leaf cigarettes. They relieved my tooth for a time, but the 
pain returned. For several days I suffered intensely, nearly 
ruining all my teeth I fear by using creosote, caustic, and 
any strong thing people recommended. Our supper at the 
hotel at Vienna consisted of cold stewed pumpkins, cold 
greens, and cold white cornbread. Nothing else but cold well 
water. The breakfast was nearly as unpalatable, but it was 
warm. 43 We had nothing to eat all day except the pickles, 
which Johnny first ate and then drank the vinegar. We were 
quite ready to do justice to the nice supper we found ready 
spread when we drove up to Mrs. Barr's at 8 o'clock at 
night. We stayed there two days. They seemed charmed to 
have us. Then we had a two-day visit with the Morris girls, 
who were as always cordial and pleasant, and the rest of our 

42 For explanation of these and other Halloween superstitions, see 
Encyclopedia of Superstitions, 48, 141, and 166. 

43 Vienna, the oldest Louisiana town west of the Ouachita, was on 
what was later called the " Old Wire Road " because of the telegraph 
wires strung along it. A two-story house built by John Huey served as 
an inn on the Monroe-Shreveport stage line and was probably the 
place where Kate and Johnny ate. Louisiana, A Guide to the State 
(New York, 1941) , 614. 


stay in Homer was at Mrs. Amis's. Emmett was at home one 
night on furlough. He is funny in spite of his wild, rough 
ways. Annie and Mrs. Amis were most kind and begged 
us to stay longer. It did Annie good to realize that she was 
not my only friend in Homer. Saw Mrs. Harper and Mrs. 
DeFrance and most of our old friends. Mrs. Harper is firmly 
of the opinion that Lt. Valentine and I are engaged, if not, 
that we should be. Time will correct her mistake. The first 
night after leaving Homer we spent at Mr. Maples', a de- 
lightful place, a short distance out from Minden. All night 
long through the beating of the rain and the wailing wind, 
we could hear the screams of a poor mother whose little 
child was " lost and gone in the forest wild " a wee tot of 
two years who had wandered away in the morning hunting 
nuts. When we left next day, the neighbors were still seeking 
for it. 

We stayed a night and half a day with Mary Buckner. 
She has a pretty little baby about two weeks old, but she 
was not at all well. Mrs. Gustine seemed rather anxious 
about her. 

We stayed one night at Marshall with Mrs. Felix Taylor. 
They are from our parish, but we had never met before. She 
was so friendly and hospitable that she just made us come in, 
and we enjoyed our stay there. She has such a family of 
girls, none grown. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Dec. 4: We are just back from church, and 
it was a delightful walk there. Mamma, thinking the church 
would be too cold, deserted us at Mrs. Savage's and Mrs. 
Newton joined us. An excellent sermon from the new Baptist 
minister. There were many gentlemen but few ladies and 
quite a number of new officers, but Dr. McGregor, my only 
acquaintance. All the officers we knew here in June have 
gone. Dr. McGregor and Joe Carson, who is home on fur- 
lough, are our only visitors at present. Did not see Maj. 
Buckner in church. Suppose he has gone back to Louisiana. 
We have seen him frequently lately and he is a most agree- 
able, entertaining visitor. I wish they would station him here 
Anna Meagher and Emily Norris started yesterday for 


Franklin Parish [La.], 44 Anna on a visit to Thekla and Emily 
to remain there and go to school. We have not seen much of 
them since we returned three weeks ago. We all spent Friday 
with them a dull day and a rare peace dinner, oyster soup, 
bought pickles, guava jelly, etc., etc. Dr. McGregor and Mr. 
Williams, the new toast of the town, also were guests. 

The house does not seem as comf ortajble as formerly. Living 
so delightfully for the last six months and being so waited 
on and petted have spoiled me I am afraid. Unfortunately 
Johnny and Uncle John are not on speaking terms. There 
was a general quarrel while Mamma was away, and Uncle 
John will not make it up. As Johnny is but a boy, it seems 
very unreasonable. As we are so crowded in the house, it 
makes it doubly disagreeable. Then Kate has added a new 
baby to the general confusion. Fortunately it is a good little 
mite, but we cannot say the same of Sally. She is a little 
trial but is getting to be quite pretty. Johnny makes a pet 
of her, since he is very fond of little children. If we only 
could have the house to ourselves, but there is no hope of 
that. Poor Uncle Johnny is so helpless. 

Mrs. Morris, Zou, and Stafford were with us last week on 
their way to Navarro County [Tex.]. 45 They speak of all 
moving to Texas. Mrs. Bruce wrote to Mamma asking her 
to secure a house for her. Since Mrs. Savage is to move to 
another part of town, Mamma rented her house. If she and 
the Lowrys come, they will be delightful additions to our 
society. A letter from Julia Street speaks of going into 
winter quarters with her husband. She seems perfectly 

The first news Johnny heard as we neared home was that 
his pony, the pride of his heart, had been stolen. The poor 
little fellow was dreadfully worried. He will never get that 
one again, but Mamma is trying to get another for him. 

We have been busy sewing ever since my return reno- 
vating our old dresses. I embroidered four pretty cravats 
for " my four boys." My particular pet Jimmy Carson will 

44 About thirty miles southeast of Monroe, La. 

* 5 In north central Texas, between Dallas and Waco. 


go back with Joe and join the army. How we shall miss all 
the boys, only Johnny and Eddie left of all the band. Johnny 
has been up on the prairie nearly ever since we got back. He 
is trying to buy a horse for himself and one for Jimmy, We 
look for him this evening. We shall be very busy for awhile 
making up clothes for Jimmy. We will take them to him. 
Mamma confided one of my indiscreet remarks about Joe 
and Jimmy Stone being the worst dressed boys in the bri- 
gade to Mrs. Carson, and Mrs. Carson has been in a perfect 
rush ever since getting good clothes for Joe. Everything 
nice she gets she at once brings it over for me to see, much 
to my amusement. I am glad it had such a happy effect. 
Joe certainly looks better. He is nearly handsome now in a 
new suit of Confederate grey. Mrs. Templeton would rejoice 
to see him. 

I found Mamma trying to do without a paper, but I at 
once subscribed for this necessity of life. We find the car- 
riage such a comfort. Have paid up all our calls. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Dec. 8: Mamma has just received two let- 
ters from My darling old Brother, one of September 25, the 
other October 8. He was quite well but said he has passed 
through some of the bloodiest battles the Army of Virginia 
has ever fought. We are so proud of his gallantry. One 
extract gladdened our hearts. He says, 

Our Brigade has fully sustained its former reputation in the 
battles of the summer, some of them the bloodiest the 
Army of Virginia ever fought. In the battle of the Wilder- 
ness with twenty-three men, I captured a Captain, two 
Lieutenants, and eighty-one men of the New York 2nd 
Cavalry with their horses and arms. We captured the 
Major and twenty more men, but they escaped while we 
were bringing them in. I believe I am the only line officer 
of the Brigade who has been mentioned in official reports 
during the campaign. 

He knew we would not hear it unless he told us, for we 
never gel a Richmond paper. He, for the first time, has had 
the grace to tell us of some of his valiant deeds. He is a son 


and brother we may all well be proud of. He thinks we will 
not see him this winter. 

[Tyler, Tex.] Deo. 10: Dear little Beverly, that angel 
upon earth, has left us. The pure spirit has winged its way 
to its Heavenly home. Darling little Beverly. What a sad 
despairing letter her father wrote bearing the bitter news of 
her death. They are utterly heartbroken. She was the one 
great treasure of their lives. The pure little spirit is freed 
now, but all the sunshine of life to them lies buried in that 
tiny grave. She died October 2 of sore throat at Selma, Ala. 
She was the one perfect being I have ever known in face, 
in figure, in mind, in heart not one improvement could be 
suggested. We have several times heard people who were 
not related to her say, after playing with her, " That child 
will not live to grow up; she is too perfect." That seemed 
to be the general feeling of all their friends in Vicksburg who 
had known her always. She was too fair and frail a flower 
to blossom in this time of death and destruction. Our loved 
ones form a bright band now in " that Sunny Land where 
darkness cometh never." There was never a sweeter, lovelier 
little creature than our " Swamp Lily," as she loved us to call 
her. May Our Father comfort and strengthen her poor 
mother, for her life is bound up in the child's. 

We were shocked and distressed to hear of Mary Gustine's 
death. We were there on one Thursday and she died on 
Sunday. Her mother seemed a little anxious, but no one else 
thought her much ill. A noble, generous, and beautiful 
woman, she was one of our most valued friends. This is the 
first break in the circle of happy girls who erstwhile met at 
Brokenburn. Her mother, who is in wretched health, will 
continue to live with Capt. Buckner, and she and Ella will 
take charge of the baby. That family is utterly broken up 
one brother in prison and another desperately wounded 
and not a month ago they were congratulating themselves on 
how wonderfully they had escaped all sorrow in this season 
of general disaster and despair. Truly, " We know not what 
a day may bring forth." 


[Tyler, Tex.] Dec. IS: Jimmy has sent his boy Henry 
home for a horse, clothes, and money. Jimmy traded his two 
horses for a mule that Henry has broken down coming home 
and bought another mule to ride until Henry gets back with 
fresh importations. We judge that Jimmy is not much of a 
jockey. He wrote to Mamma and indignantly remonstrated 
with me for giving his much desired gloves to Capt. Wylie, 
a thing I never thought of doing. Should I not try to make 
my own brother comfortable first of all? So I wrote a touch- 
ing disclaimer of any such offense. 

The boys were over and stayed until bedtime. Joe is out 
on the farm. Katie Carson has the measles and I carried 
Sister and Annie Nicholson over to see her. All stayed until 
bedtime. She is getting on very well. 


"Jhe darkeft hour" 

[" Bonnie Castle/' Tyler, Tex.] Jan. 29: Uncle Johnny 
and Kate have just gone to their room after a lengthy dis- 
cussion of the comparative merits of modern poets and 
novelists. Johnny has kissed me goodnight, Sister is wander- 
ing in dreamland, I am alone with a cheerful fire and a wake- 
ful spirit, and so I may as well resume my neglected diary. 
Mamma, with Sarah as her maid, started on Wednesday for 
the prairie to be absent two weeks, and I am left to ad- 
minister affairs during her absence. The office of housekeeper 
is not entirely a sinecure now that there are so many to be 
provided for our family, Uncle John's, and Mr. Gary's. We 
tease Mamma and Mrs. Savage by telling them they are 
keeping boarding houses, a fact they indignantly deny. But 
it looks that way to an outsider. We hoped to get Mr. 
Smith's house and live to ourselves, but he now declines to 
rent. But for the hall, we are as much crowded here as at the 
Ranch, which we had to give up to the owner as he wished to 
move back. This is a pretty-looking place if the house was 
painted but new and unfinished, a large yard with the 
native trees left. Mr. and Mrs. Gary, from whom Mamma 
rented it, are quite nice people. They have one little girl and 
they give very little trouble. We rarely see them except at 
meals, which is a relief, for we did so dread her living in our 
room. Even Kate leaves us to ourselves sometimes, and so 
we find it much easier to live together. Though both Uncle 
Johnny and Kate utterly ignore Johnny's existence, it is 
wonderful that they will behave so. 

Jimmy and Joe Carson have rejoined their command. It is 
Jimmy's first trial as a soldier. I am trying to finish a pair of 



the prettiest riding gloves to send him by Jimmy Stone's boy, 
who will get off Wednesday. I am sending Jimmy Stone a 
famous pair. Dr. Weir would feel himself awfully slighted 
and retire in disgust could he peep behind the scenes and see 
what becomes of the precious gauntlets he forced on my 
acceptance. He flattered himself I would knit a pair of 
gloves to them and kindly bestow them on him. But oh no, 
they go with the best I can make to Jimmy. I have knitted 
so many gloves, and Mamma knits socks in all her spare 
time. I wish I had kept account of the numbers of pairs. We 
froth up old black or blue silk, mix it with wool, and have 
it spun into a pretty silky thread that makes nice-looking 
gloves or stockings. 

Dr. Weir is our most frequent visitor and now comes up 
two or three evenings in the week. Fortunately, he is easy 
to entertain as he does all the talking, and, if we weary of 
that, he is willing to play chess or cards by the hour. Capt. 
George Birchett from Vicksburg, whose family we have 
known always, was a constant visitor the few weeks he was 
here. He came in every day he was in town at any and all 
hours, quite en famille. He is cheerful and full of life, easy 
to amuse and to tease. We saw so much of him and Dr. Weir 
that we had not time to really miss our old habitues, Joe 
and Jimmy Carson. Capt. Birchett declares Sally Cox is the 
" vampire of his existence." Madame Rumor has given them 
to each other time and time again, but he indignantly denies 
the soft impeachment. The report was a fruitful source of 
amusement to me and annoyance to him until Mamma and 
he concocted some absurd story about Dr. Smith and me, 
and then I surrendered and signed a truce no word of Sally 
Cox, no word of Dr. Jim Smith. Capt. Birchett will be back 
in a short time. He is exchange agent and enjoys himself to 
the uttermost, going about from post to post and out to the 
blockading fleet with flags of truce. 

So slowly news comes in that we have heard nothing since 
Sherman's occupation of Savannah more than a month ago 
and Gen. Hood's retreat across the Tennessee River. The 
on-dit is that Hood is relieved from command and Gen, 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 313 

Johnston reinstated, a rumor that gives general satisfaction. 1 
The very air is rife with rumors but nothing reliable. The 
favorite is that the Confederacy will certainly be recognized 
by all foreign powers immediately after the fourth of March, 
and we may look for a speedy peace with much more to the 
same. But we have been exalted and depressed by these 
rumors too often to let them weigh with us now. Another 
topic of general interest is the subject of gradual emancipa- 
tion said to be under discussion in the lower house. Mean- 

The days hold on their wanton pace 
And men to court and camp repair 
Their part to fill, of good or ill, 
While women keep the town of Quair[?]. 

[" Bonnie Castle," Tyler, Tex.] Feb. 1: An occasional let- 
ter from Jimmy. He had just returned from our old home 
near the river. How strange it seems for the boys to be 
going home and wandering at will over the whole country, 
not a Yankee to be seen. The army worms were our best 
allies. They made the enemy abandon the country when our 
soldiers were powerless to drive them off. There are rumors 
of an armistice, recognition by the powers, and emancipation 
of the slaves. 

Raining today. Could not start Jimmy's boy back. Jimmy 
must think Henry is never coming. Have nearly finished 
Jimmy Carson's gloves. His hands are none of the smallest 
and knitting the gloves has been a task. 

Have been reading the life of Stonewall Jackson. He was 
worthy to be idolized by all classes as he is. Have just 
finished The Hour and the Man by Miss Martineau, pur- 
porting to be a historical novel with Toussaint I/Overture, 
the leader of the insurrection in San Domingo, as the hero. 2 
He is represented as superhumanly good and great beyond 

1 After the loss of Atlanta, General John B. Hood attempted to 
recoup the military situation by invading Tennessee. In December he 
was badly defeated at Nashville and had to retire into Mississippi. 
Battles and Leaders, IV, 485-39. 

2 This novel by Harriet Martineau (1802-76) , published in 1840, was 
called " an early TJncLe Tom's Cabin" 


all heroes of ancient or modern times. He and Napoleon were 
contemporaries and comparisons are constantly drawn be- 
tween them, all in favor of this darkie saint. Napoleon is 
completely overshadowed by Toussaint. It is a disgusting 
book. The Negroes are all represented as angelic beings, 
pure and good, while the whites are the fiends who entered 
in and took possession of their Eden, Haiti. 

Anna Meagher returned recently and sent for me to come 
and see her. She saw Jimmy several times. He is quite well. 
Her only news was about the Terrapin Neck cutoff which, 
if true, will place all our plantations above possible overflow. 
The Yankees are all gone and some of the old planters still 
at home. Jimmy sent by Anna the box of papers left con- 
cealed and all are in good order. We have written him to 
bring out the silver if possible. It is buried there. The old 
Negroes are still on the place, and Uncle Hoccles and Aunt 
Liza want to come out to Texas. 3 Mrs. Newman was about 
to give a Yankee party. Both girls are at home and reported 
engaged to Yankee officers. One cannot believe that news. 
Nous verrons. We hear that Annie Newman is a beauty and 
a belle. Surely the age of miracles has not passed. 

The pouring rains continue, and the house leaks dread- 
fully. We rather wade than walk. 

[" Bonnie Castle/ 5 Tyler, Tex.] Feb. 12: Mamma is still 
away, and from the condition of the roads we know not when 
to expect her. We miss her dreadfully, but we have had much 
company. Mrs. Carson has been sick, and we walk over 
there nearly every evening. Poor Mr. Alexander died re- 
cently, and Mrs. Hull, who had been sitting up all night, sent 
for me early one rainy morning to come and relieve her. I 
remained until dark, a most dreary day, for though Mr. 
Alexander was the merest acquaintance, we felt for his wife 
and children. The duty of visiting the sick and afflicted is 
one of life's greatest trials. 

8 Uncle Hoccles came to Texas with the Stones in 1863 but returned 
to Brokenburn with some of the family on their trips back there. He 
came to Texas again sometime after this date. Among the older Negroes 
who remained at Brokenburn throughout the war was Uncle Bob* 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 315 

Met a delightful gentleman when I spent the day at Mrs. 
Savage's. He is Dr. Boone, a Missourian, handsome, elegant, 
the Medical Director for the Northern District, and is sta- 
tioned at Bonham. He is trying to get Dr. McGregor to 
exchange with him. I only wish they will. He would be a 
social acquisition. He called with Dr. Weir yesterday morn- 
ing and soon challenged me to a game of chess. I won the 
first and he the second and so the championship is undecided. 
He is to come as soon as he returns to play the decisive game. 
Mrs. Savage is charmed with him. I saw her this evening at 
Mrs. Carson's. As she is never happy unless matchmaking, 
she was begging me to set my cap for him. For what she 
knows, he may have a wife and a roomful of hopefuls and if 
free is the very man to have a sweetheart at every post. Mrs. 
Savage really misses having no girl on hand to scheme for. 
Capt. Birchett is here again. He makes himself at home and 
very agreeable. Dr. Weir still has the contract for enter- 
taining me two or three nights in the week. I am going to 
ride with him tomorrow, and the next night, I will ac- 
company him to a concert. He asked me to attend a party 
last week, but I am not going to dances. Lt. Dupre, we see 
frequently. He is a Creole from New Orleans, very agree- 
able, a young married man whose family are in New Orleans, 
and he is very homesick to see his wife and babies. A letter 
from Capt. Wylie begging me to let him come out Christmas, 
but his family have all been too kind to me for me to en- 
courage his coming just for amusement. A long, pleasant, 
and amusing letter from Mary Templeton, but no special 

A letter from My darling Brother to Mamma, dated 
November. His company is reduced to only eighteen men. 
He is very anxious to be transferred to this side of the river. 
His letter is on fancy Yankee paper captured at his last 
battle, Boydton (?) Station R. R. Heard from Jimmy by 
George Richards, who spent a night last week on his way 
home on furlough. Jimmy is well and not suffering for 
clothes. Uncle Bob has given him a pair of pants. Uncle 
Bob has hired several men and will plant part of the place 


this year. The boys go in to the old places constantly, hunt- 
ing guerrillas. Joe and Jimmy Carson had arrived in camp 
but without Dan. Eddie went out looking for him and found 
him near Marshall, headed him the right way, and so he 
must be there now. 

I sent Henry to Jimmy with a supply of winter clothes 
that Mamma had prepared more than a week ago. We hear 
today the enemy are advancing on Monroe. If so, we do not 
know when Henry will find Harrison's brigade. Reports of a 
great battle between Lee and Grant. Our forces victorious. 

There is no sewing hurrying us now. Sister gets off early to 
school after our usual breakfast, beef and biscuit, syrup, and 
homemade coffee monotonous, but the best we can do. The 
Garys and Uncle Johnny's family go to their rooms, and 
Johnny and I shut ourselves up in Mamma's room, he to 
devote himself to Horace Legendu [?] and such studies. He 
is studying well. There is not much housekeeping as the 
servants are efficient, and that is soon off my hands. We 
have some morning callers as the townspeople are taking us 
up. Kate and the children run in and out all the time, rather 
disturbing Johnny's mind, but he goes off somewhere about 
the house and finishes his lessons. A letter from old Mr. 
Valentine. Lt. Valentine has entirely recovered. 

["Bonnie Castle," Tyler, Tex.] Feb. IS: Great Peace 
rumors are afloat, 4 and Gen. Lee has certainly given Grant's 
army a good drubbing. If he could only have annihilated 
them, we could sing te deums. God grant our dear boys may 
be unhurt. Dame Rumor is furloughing every fifth man in 
the Virginia Army who lives on this side of the Mississippi, 
and there is so much good news that the multitudes are 
jubilant. The more hopeful predict peace by July, but I 

4 In the summer of 1864 a " peace movement " developed in the North 
as a result of dissatisfaction with the stalemate of the war, and Lincoln's 
chances for re-election seemed small. The victory at Atlanta, however, 
turned the tide and he was elected. On February 3, 1865, Lincoln and 
Seward representing the United States met with A. H. Stephens, E. M. 
T. Hunter, and J. A. Campbell representing the Confederacy at Hamp- 
ton Roads, Va., to confer on a possible peace. The conference was a 
failure. Randall, The Civil War and Reconstruction, 675-78. 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 317 

think it will not come before October is painting the woods 
in autumn hues. What a lovely season it will be to journey 
home with peace blessed peace quieting all the land and 
nothing to molest or make us afraid. How joyfully will we 
take up our line of march for dear old Louisiana. What a 
merry cavalcade we shall be. 

How the shriek of that steam whistle startled me, trans- 
porting me for the minute to the bank of the far rolling 

Mrs. Bruce must think we are agents for renting houses. 
A letter from her introducing Capt. Pritchard, and one from 
him asking us as a great favor to rent a house for his family, 
who are on the way and will be here in about two weeks. 
Will wait until Mamma gets back, and then we will go on 
another house-hunting expedition. It is rather a trying job 
as the owners of the houses wish us to be responsible for the 
rent, and in this case we do not even know the people. These 
wily Texans want to bind one with all kinds of written docu- 
ments, unintelligible but terrible in my eyes. I would not 
sign one for anything. Mamma attends to all that. 

Have just finished the New York News of January 4. It is 
strongly in favor of peace and very encouraging to the South. 
The " Personal " for North and South is a new feature in 
newspaper work. 

This long spell of bad weather still detains Mamma, and 
we are very anxious for her to get home. Then, our larder is 
growing startlingly poverty stricken. Our boarders must be 
thinking of giving notice. 

Yesterday Little Sister fell off the gallery striking her head 
on a rock pile, making several deep gashes, and today it 
pains too much for her to attend school, though she took her 
music lesson. Little Sally has improved so much. She is a 
pretty curly-headed little thing with golden hair and blue 
eyes and is a great pet with us all. But she can never take 
Beverly's place in our hearts the perfect little child only 
lent to earth to show mortals how fair are the angels in 

How kind old Mrs. Buckner has been to My Brother. She 


corresponds regularly with him. He enclosed one of her let- 
ters in his last of November. He goes to Lynchburg to see 
them whenever he can. 

[" Bonnie Castle/' Tyler, Tex.] Feb. 15: Our garrison is 
reinforced and heavily provisioned. 

Warren reached here tonight after a six-day trip from the 
prairie with the long looked-for load of comestibles, and 
never could they have come in better time. The last flour 
had just been made up into biscuit in Capt. Birchett's honor, 
and meat, sugar, candles, and everything else was waxing 
low. By the way, the servants make such pretty candles now. 
The candles look almost like wax. They boil a species of 
cactus in the tallow, and the candles are partly transparent 
and brittle and give an excellent clear light. Warren says the 
roads are nearly impassable. Mamma, when he left the car- 
riage, was bogged down a few miles beyond Quitman, 5 but 
Warren is satisfied that she will reach here today or tomorrow. 
Capt. Birchett, after keeping me at home all day and 
depriving me of the pleasure of a ride with Dr. Weir, came up 
to tea and soon after bade us adieu for Shreveport and does 
not expect to be back for some weeks. We will miss him as 
he has been very sociable. Jolly Col. Hill and his demure, 
prim little wife called this morning and later Mrs. Benton 
and Mrs. St. Clair. No news except Mrs. Alexander, who 
lately lost her husband, will leave in a few days for San 
Antonio. And Johnny and I are eager to rent that house by 
the time Mamma arrives. Such a nice two-story affair with 
a pretty flower yard and in a nice part of town. 

Dr. Weir spent yesterday afternoon here playing chess, 
and after tea I went with him and Capt. Birchett to a con- 
cert. Such a crowd. Not another person could have been 
crammed in and so many soldiers, but they were quiet and 
behaved well. The gentlemen all had to stand and my 
escorts were disgusted. 

["Bonnie Castle," Tyler, Tex.] Feb. SI: Another rainy 
day. But Mamma is at home all right, and we are very 

5 A small community about thirty miles north of Tyler. 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR" 319 

glad to have her. Ben Clarkson came in Saturday on his 
way to see his people on his first furlough. He has been 
away two years and a half. He is a handsome fellow and 
scarcely looks older than when he left. How delighted his 
father will be to see him. He has only a twenty-day fur- 
lough, and it has taken him that long to get here. He will 
stay at home a month and rejoin his company at Tupelo, 
Miss. How vividly his presence recalls my two brothers. 
Had they lived,, they might now be making us happy with 
their glad presence. 

Sunday we all attended the Baptist church which was 
crowded to overflowing. We occupied a seat with some sol- 
diers and their rations and came away with a goodly portion 
of the week's rations whitening our skirts. Dr. Weir asked 
to walk home with us. I told him we came in the carriage 
when he innocently enquired had I not rather walk. De- 
cidedly, I had not. Spent this afternoon playing chess with 
him. I beat him so easily now there is no fun playing with 
him. No news and the household amusement is in " running 
rigs " on me. Dr. Weir is an inexhaus table theme for Johnny's 
mischief-loving spirit. He is here so much that I find him 
most tiresome. Though I do go horseback riding with him 
frequently, it is impossible to be bored when one is well 
mounted and scampering over the hills. Dr. Boone called 
yesterday to bid us good-bye and to remind Mamma of her 
promise to send for him when we go to the prairie this sum- 
mer to spend a few weeks. He is such an elegant, polished 
gentleman, and we like him very much. We have seen much 
of him during this stay, and I am four games ahead on chess, 
an unexpected defeat to him as he prides himself on being 
a scientific player. He imagined when he came to play with 
me that he had only to say, " vcni, vidi, vici" but my 
" skrategy " out-generaled him. His brother married Betty 
Smith, that arch little coquette. Capt. Birchett was giving 
us an amusing account of his experience with that pretty 
Dresden figure, a great little flirt. 

Capt. Boren is a pleasant new acquaintance, a Texan and 
charmed with Ihe Louisianiuns he has met so he says* 


Saturday we Mamma, Kate, and I went calling on Mrs. 
Savage, Mrs. Prentice, and poor Mrs. Alexander. She seems 
quite crushed and to know nothing of business. Her husband 
left a large estate, stores scattered over half the state. Mrs. 
Savage's carriage is broken and she cannot get out. Mrs. 
Carson has withdrawn from society and rarely leaves the 
house, and as we are tired of doing all the visiting we rarely 
see her. She will have to renew the old friendship, and that 
she may never care to do. 

We hear the Peace Commission returned without effecting 
anything. Our only hope for peace this year now lies in 
emancipation or intervention. 

[" Bonnie Castle/' Tyler, Tex.] March 3: Our interest for 
the last ten days has centered on the all-engrossing theme of 
tableaux. All the society young folks of the town with 
Mamma as head and front of the affair are busy getting up 
an entertainment, tableaux, music, and charades, to raise 
money for establishing a soldiers' home. The natives, very 
unexpectedly, asked us to take part; and as Mamma knows 
more of such things than all the rest of them put together, 
she soon found herself sole manager of the affair and I am 
her " sub/ 3 I have taken no part but they kindly allow me 
to attend all rehearsals, and I have had a gay time but for 
being bored to extremity by Dr. Weir, whom I nearly hate. 
We have become acquainted with all the creme de la creme 
of the city, and from one to a dozen are always dropping in 
to discuss something or ask Mamma's advice. I know most 
of the love affairs of Tyler now. I hope Janie Roberts and 
Lt. Alexander will make a match. They are very much in 
love with each other and it would be quite suitable. The 
young people have rehearsed here several times when it was 
too bad to go to the church. 

A letter from Jimmy in which he says if I have any regard 
for suffering humanity to drop a few lines to Capt. Wylie. 
I really do not think the few lines I would send him would 
make him happy less so than he is now, perhaps. Jimmy 
says the Yankees did little damage in their raid on Monroe. 
Fortunately, they did not visit Col. Templeton's where they 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 321 

might liave captured Jimmy and Hutch Bowman. Jimmy 
was nursing him there. 

Anna Meagher was asked to play at the entertainment but 
some feeling of pique prevented her, and they all speak most 
contemptuously of the whole affair. But we are glad the ice 
is at last broken, and we are friends with the people of the 
town. It is far more agreeable, and there are many nice 
people when one finds them out. Mollie E. Moore, a poetess, 
is a charming girl and we are becoming quite friends. 6 They 
live near. The other refugees can laugh at us if they like, 
but we are having the most enjoyable life. 

We have been once to see Mrs. Carson. She has moved 
into town but is living very uncomfortably. She speaks of 
going North to her brother. It would be a good thing for 
her to do, just herself and Katie and Eddie seem a lonely trio. 
She is very peculiar. She lives in the skimpiest way, yet she 
has quantities of things packed away. She has twelve or 
fifteen pairs of fine blankets, yet will not sell a pair no matter 
what soldier wants them. Mamma tried to buy a pair for 
Jimmy, finding it impossible to get them anywhere, and Mrs. 
Carson sent over as a present a pair of crib blankets which 
were worn till they were thin, but wrote she could not think 
of selling a pair might need them. Mamma sent those back 
as they were useless for a soldier. Then, Mrs. Carson has 
seven complete chamber sets, bowls, pitchers, etc. As long 
as we lived together, she never unpacked a set, but all of us 

6 Mollie E. Moore, whose poetry had by this time been published in 
newspapers in Tyler and Houston, became one of Texas' most widely 
known writers after the Civil War. In 1874 she married Thomas E. 
Davis, who in 1889 became editor of the New Orleans Picayune, and 
as Mrs. Davis she became a social leader in New Orleans. Between 
1888 'and 1908 Mrs. Davis published thirteen books of poetry, fiction, 
and history and became nationally known. An excellent study of the 
complicated problem of Mrs. Davis' biography is Clyde W. Wilkinson's 
" The Broadening Stream; The Life and Literary Career of Mollie E. 
Moore Davis/* unpublished Ph. D. thesis, University of Illinois (Urbana, 
1947). See also Mr. Wilkinson's sketch on Mrs. Davis in The Hand- 
book of Texas, I, 470-71. Selections from Mrs. Davis' prose and poetry 
appear in Library of Southern Literature, III, 1273-1308; selections from 
her poetry appear in Sam H. Dixon, The Poets and Poetry of Texas 
(Austin, 1885) , 34-44. and in Hilton II, Grccr, Voices of the Southwest; 
A Book of Texan Verse (New York, 1923) , 16-19. 


used a small wooden pail [?] and a big wash tub. She has 
since taken one set out for her room. All her silver is packed 
away, and she uses pewter and heaviest stoneware, cracked 
and discolored, with two full sets of china stored in the yard. 
She has six carpets and numerous rugs in the storeroom and 
uses a ragged rug on a bare floor. She is certainly odd. 

Mamma has rented Mrs. Alexander's place, the prettiest 
home in Tyler, but will not get possession until the first of 
May. Mamma has been troubled trying to decide what was 
best to do and decided on this. Mr. Gary is quite trying, so 
dictatorial and argumentative, and as Uncle John is some- 
thing that way himself, it is not pleasant. The house we are 
in belongs to Mr. Gary, and we board them for the rent of it. 

["Bonnie Castle," Tyler, Tex.] March 9: The tableaux 
passed off as a grand success and made quite a nice sum of 
money. It is quiet now. Most of our soldier friends have 
left, one new acquaintance remaining, Lt. Holmes, a Louisi- 
anian. He took part in the entertainment and we saw him 
frequently. Before he came, Lt. Dupre told us he was so 
" fast " that he would not bring him to the house, but he 
came with someone, and as far as we can tell is behaving 
all right. He seems full of life and fun. 7 Very glad to say we 
have seen the last of Dr. Weir, and Mr. Williams, the irre- 
sistible, has bidden us a last adieu. A letter from Mrs. Bruce. 
Carrie Polk has a little son two months old and they will 
move out now right away. Julia is at Jefferson with her 
mother and expects a little stranger in April. 

A letter written December 28 from My Brother to Mam- 
ma. He received mine of October 25 from Oak Ridge as a 
Christmas gift on December 25. He does not write as cheer- 
fully as we would like to have him. He sends one piece of 

7 Henry Bry Holmes, born in 1837, was the son of Henry and Julia Bry 
Holmes and the grandson of Judge Henry Bry, native of Switzerland, 
who came to Fort Miro (Monroe) , La., in 1803. Judge Bry owned a 
large plantation on the Ouachita River, part of which is now "in the city 
limits of Monroe, and Layton Castle, one of the show places of Monroe, 
embraces within its walls part of the original Bry home. Louisiana, A 
Guide to the State, 294; Williamson, Northeast Louisiana, 121-35. Lt. 
Holmes served with the Pelican Grays of Monroe, La. 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 323 

news that gladdens our hearts. Eugenia Rossman is really 
and truly married at last to Charley Allen, so avaunt my 
forebodings of sisterhood. I do not think the breaking of 
his bonds hurt him greatly. I hope not. Anyway, he has 
had many a love. 

It seems odd to think of Julia and Carrie as mothers. It is 
such a few months since they were married. I have been 
thinking of them as brides. Time flies. 

My Brother says I must hunt up a new sweetheart for 
him. I have selected Annie Amis. They have my consent 
to a mutual love affair. 

Mamma received today her application for My Brother's 
transfer. It was disapproved, and so that ends our last hope 
of seeing him 4< until this cruel war is over/' 8 We hear all 
the troops on this side are to be ordered across the river to 
reinforce the Army of Virginia. When we hear from Jimmy 
again, their command may be marching over. It is a dark 
hour for us now. Only bad news, but the darkest hour is 
just before the dawning. 

Miss Mollie Moore, " the Texas song bird," has been very 
kind, lending us books, among others new novels by Miss 
Braddon, sent her by Col. Duganne. 9 They promise to be 
quite interesting. I am hoarse from reading aloud so long 
tonight. Mamma was tired and lying down. It has been too 
cold today to do anything but hover over the fire and read. 
Spent yesterday with Mrs. Carson who looks dreadful. 

[ u Bonnie Castle," Tyler, Tex.] March 17: All are away 
this bright spring afternoon on pleasure bent, and I am 
alone at home to nurse my troublesome throat. It has pained 
me greatly for the last week. Had to call the doctor in 
twice, but it is improving now. 

Only flying rumors, but more encouraging. Mrs. Bruce is 

8 '* When This Cruel War is Over," by popular composer Charles Car- 
roll Sawyer with music by Henry Tucker, was one of the most popular 
songs, North and South, of the Civil War period. Harwell, Confederate 
Music, 87. 

Evidently A. J. TL Duganne, who was a prisoner at Camp Ford and 
who described his experiences in the South in his Camp and Prisons, 
Twenty Months in tlie Department o/ the Gvlf. 


looked for every day. We have had a number of visitors as 
our house, like every house where Mamma lives, has become 
a great resort. There is generally some one or a dozen here. 
Have had to talk straight on in spite of my croaking voice, 
and it tires one so. Yesterday two of Mamma's proteges 
from the hospital spent the day. Later Capt. Smith came in 
and a little later Capt. Boren to say good-bye. He is off to 
his company. He was a pleasant visitor and we are sorry to 
see him go. Later, Mamma and Kate went to pay some calls 
and left Capt. Smith to my mercies. He made himself most 
amusing, and I was surprised by unexpected gifts of mind 
and manner. He is a capital storyteller and has a fund on 
hand. He tore himself away at dark, and after tea we sat 
down to finish Lady Audley's Secret which we find very 
interesting, when Lt. Dupre and Capt. Birchett were an- 
nounced. There we were bound to the altar of entertainment 
for the next three hours. Mamma and I were both unwell 
and tired out, and we did wish a kind providence had 
directed their steps in another direction. To add to our 
" malaisements " Capt. Birchett, usually so easy to talk to, 
was so tipsy he could scarcely keep awake. I knew he be- 
haved queerly, more quiet than I ever knew him, but I did 
not guess what was the matter until Mamma's disgusted 
exclamation as soon as the door closed behind them. This 
visit certainly puts him in our black books, and we cannot 
understand what Lt. Dupre meant by coming with a man in 
that disgusting condition. Lt. Dupre is just from Shreveport. 
Heard that Rosa Green has married a Yankee captain. Can 
it be true? 

I am busy knitting a pair of gloves for Capt. Birchett, but 
now that he has been here in such a state I do not think 
I shall give them to a wild man like that. 

Just finished Memorials of Hood, such an interesting work. 
What a life of patient endurance and hardships borne with 
such cheerfulness. Writing his life seems a labor of love to 
his children. Mamma and I went around in the carriage and 

10 Published in 1862, the first of fifteen novels by popular novelist 
Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1837-1915) . 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 325 

paid all our calls. I went to a dance, quite enjoyable. A 
new acquaintance, Mrs. Capt. Polys, is quite an addition. 
Johnny is calling me for a walk. 

[" Bonnie Castle/' Tyler, Tex.] March 24: Mamma and 
Mollie Moore have just gone on a visit to the hospital. 
Johnny is lounging in the rocker plying me with questions 
with his eye so bruised and blackened he can scarcely see, 
the effects of his first fisticuffs. He had a regular fight yes- 
terday with a Tyler boy and says he came off decidedly 
second best. He is sore and stiff today. He declares he 
fought the boy from a sense of duty because the boy had 
been insulting to the girls at school and partly, I think, for 
his teacher Mr. Hand's sake. He entered the field of combat 
in the real spirit of Don Quixote, for he had no personal 
injury to avenge. He feels better now that he has worked 
off some of his superfluous steam. He has been at boiling 
heat for a month, eager for a fight. We think he will settle 
to his studies now with renewed interest. He has a satisfied 
look, long a stranger to his face. We are glad he and Eddie 
have smoked the calumet of peace. He was much disap- 
pointed at being unable to attend Mr. Smith's school. 

Mrs. Prentice, Amy Quays, and Dr. Weir spent a dull 
evening with us, and we passed a dreary day at Mrs. Savage's 
with only the family. It provokes me to hear Mrs. Savage, 
Anna, and all of them harping on their devotion to Jimmy, 
praising him to the skies and speaking quite as though he 
were a member of their family. Mrs. Savage thinks she has 
secured Jimmy safely for Emily, but we hope that it is one 
match she will fail in making. What a matchmaking old lady 
she is, and she quite prides herself on it now. That family is 
not nearly as pleasant as formerly. Mrs. Carson, Col. and 
Mrs. Bradforte came. We have not seen the Bradfortes until 
today since our memorial trip out to the Indian settlement. 
Col. Bradforte is still harping on " my pet dear." He is on 
the wrong trail. 

A letter from Sarah Wadley telling of the Yankee out- 
rages about Bastrop [La.]. Jimmy has not written in a long 
time* Dr. Weir, I am thankful to say, is devoting himself 


to Amy Quays. Have had no one to play chess with since 
Lt. Neil said good-bye, and lie went off four games ahead of 
me. I hate to tell Capt. Boone that, as he has a high opinion 
of my skill. 

[" Bonnie Castle/' Tyler, Tex.] March 30:^ The little town 
is looking lovely now in its spring decoration of peach and 
apple blossoms and the circling fields of soft green wheat 
and rye. It seems to be peeping through a bouquet of pink 
and white blooms. 

A rumor that Gen. Beauregard has been killed in a great 
fight in Carolina. 11 

A letter from Missie Morris. They are undecided about 
coming to Texas. 

Mrs. Bradforte was in great distress a few days ago for fear 
the liquor men would mob Col. Bradforte as they were much 
infuriated at some of his orders, but it has all blown over. 

We have been renovating our last summer's clothes. We 
have not a single new thing to make up. If Mr. Smith does 
not soon send that cotton which must go on to San Antonio, 
I do not know what we will all do for clothes. Mamma is 
much interested in Miss Braddon's novels. 

[" Bonnie Castle," Tyler, Tex.] April 1: A wild March 
wind is howling around the house, scattering the glory of the 
white and pink blossoms that have made the town so lovely 
for the last week. The white and purple lilacs yesterday 
were in full bloom, great plumes, redolent of perfume, but 
today the rude norther has drifted the fragrant petals far 
and wide. On the mantle is our first spring bouquet, wreathes 
of flowering almond, tufts of brilliant phlox, a handful of the 
coral honeysuckle loved by the boys, gold and purple pansies, 
as large as those in Louisiana, and sweetest of all, the cluster 
of purple and white lilac. Lilacs grow so much better in 
this red soil than in the swamp. 

Though the buds and flowers of fair spring are with us, 
we are feeling the truth of the poet's song, " What is friend- 
ship but a name? " Our refugee friends, Mrs. Carson and 

11 A false rumor. 

' 1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 327 

Mrs. Savage, have grown cold toward us, and we do not 
know what is wrong. It worries Mamma very much. Though 
we may pretend not to feel the wound, it is no less painful. 
As to Mrs. Carson, Mamma long ago realized that she had 
no conception of real friendship. Her nature is too shallow 
to be true to anyone. The last friend is always the best with 
her. But Mamma had a right to look for real friendship at 
Mrs. Savage's hands, but she has not secured it. Her friend- 
ship is as worthless as Mrs. Carson's sham article. She 
showed plainly in the affair of the house that Mamma's in- 
terest was as nothing to her compared to Mrs. Alexander's, 
a friend of a few months. Mamma is disturbed by it, for she 
considered Mrs. Savage one of her very best friends. 

Mrs. Alexander sent to ask Mamma to let her keep the 
house, but that would deprive us entirely of a home as Mam- 
ma had given up the one we are in and planted a garden at 
the Alexander house. It was impossible and we will move in 
May. We will be glad to move to the Brazos 12 this fall and 
put the past and its false friends behind us. 

A long letter from Mrs. Bruce. They are eager to get out, 
but the roads are still too bad to venture. I hope we shall 
find them more pleasant than our other friends now are. 
Mrs. Bruce is much worried over the first payment on their 
house, which falls due tomorrow. 

Beauregard is all right. We hear that Gen. Sherman is 

Capt. Smith of the staff, redolent of whiskey and perfume, 
called to bid us adieu as he is off to the army again. 

Johnny is in a dreadful humor and makes us all feel it 
because Mamma will not allow him to have another fight 
with Charley Ligruski. Boys of Johnny's age are generally 
self-willed and disobedient, Mamma can do but little with 
him, and now he is of no assistance to her. Everything seems 
to be going wrong, most probably because I myself am out of 
time, and so no more scribbling until I am myself again. 

32 Evidently at this time Mrs. Stone proposed to rent a cotton plan- 
tation in the Brazos River Valley, where planting was carried on in the 
extensive manner of the eastern eoiton states* 


Will copy a fugitive poem I like so much, "The Two 

[" Bonnie Castle/' Tyler, Tex.] April 6: Have nothing 
new to read. Have been looking over an old volume of 
Pier sons Magazine. What trashy stories they are, all with 
the same happy ending. We are expecting half of the beau 
monde at rehearsal this afternoon. We have another grand 
entertainment in course of rehearsal. Mamma is the pre- 
siding genius, and I am humble adviser as I will not take a 
part, though they kindly beg me to do so. We enjoy the 
rehearsals greatly. All the officers and the girls are deeply 
interested, and they generally meet here at the house. No 
one else will offer a room. There are to be four charades 
Miss Neta Irvine, Mollie Moore, Lt. Holmes, Lt. Martin, 
dramatic manager, Julia Boren, Mattie Butler, Lt. Holmes, 
Lt. Alexander, Martin Price, Florence Smith, Mollie Sand- 
ford, Lt. Dupre, wayworn, Sally Grissman, Janie Roberts. 
Mollie Sandford is the best actress and Lt. Holmes and Lt. 
Martin the best actors. The prettiest tableaux are "The 
Game of Life," " The White Lady of Avenel," and " The 
Feast of Roses." Lt. Holmes as the rejected lover is in- 
imitable. 18 

["Bonnie Castle," Tyler, Tex.] April 7: All the pleasure 
seekers were here this morning and we had a merry time. 
They will be here again tomorrow night. I stood up so long 
yesterday afternoon from three to seven walking, talking, 
and laughing at the performers that, when they left, I was 
so spent I had to go to bed. Sally Grissman and Mr. Moore 
are enough to ruin any charade. They have not much 
mastery or ideas of acting. Dr. Weir has smoked the pipe 
of peace and attends all the meetings. We cannot tell 
whether or not he and Amy Quays will make a match. She 
is so ugly and simple, but wealthy. We spent a pleasant 
Tuesday with Mrs. Lawrence. Mrs. Wells is just back from 

18 An interesting commentary on the status of Kate's affections at 
this time. She lists Lt. Holmes twicewithout reason. His role as " the 
rejected lover " was doubtless more than mere play-acting. 


a long visit to her husband, and so we had more topics in 
common than usual. They are kind, good people but a trifle 
" heavy on hand/' Paid calls on Mrs. Savage, Mrs. Prentice, 
Mrs. Bradforte, and Mrs. Tooke, a new arrival from Arkan- 
sas, Gen. Buckner's sister. Mrs. Carson is much absorbed by 
her, a plain little lady. 

Mamma distressed me much yesterday by telling me I was 
the most reserved person she ever knew, that she did not 
feel that she knew me at all. It was like a blow on my heart 
for her to speak so. I never knew I was reserved. I never 
try to be. All that I can do is to endeavor to overcome this 
fault and to let her see that she knows all there is of me 
to know. The silly, light love affairs seemed too foolish to 
talk about, but I will try to be frank with my darling Mother. 
I wish I could be more like her, more like she would have 
me, but I fear we cannot change our nature. Another im- 
pressive thing is she says that I am generally considered a 
very handsome, stylish-looking girl, but I know she is mis- 
taken there. Motherly partiality has blinded her. I always 
considered myself rather remarkably ugly. 

All the girls attended a party a few days ago and their 
escorts drank so much several were unable to accompany the 
girls home. All the men present but two were said to be 
drunk. I am thankful I did not go to such a disgraceful 
affair. The girls arc much chagrined and offended. 

Capt. Polys, who lives with his wife just at the foot of the 
hill from us, sent us some lovely flowers, the finest clusters 
of lilacs we ever saw. 

[" Bonnie Castle/' Tyler, Tex.] April 16: All walked to 
church and were well repaid by an excellent sermon from 
Mr. Moore. Rested until Capt. Buck came for his regular 
Sunday afternoon visit. The tableaux with all their pleasant 
chat and laughter are a thing of the past. The gay rehearsals 
and frequent meetings are over, and we cleared about $900. 
The weather was wretched both evenings and of course kept 
many away, but we feel repaid for the trouble. The tableaux 
went off beautifully, not a hitch. Lt. Holmes, the Prince 
Charming as Mollie Moore and 1 dubbed him, was invalu- 


able. He would do anything or adopt any suggestion we 
made. He was in attendance on Mollie and me all the time. 

Dr. Weir came up to say good-bye as he is off for good. 
He might have brought me a pretty bouquet to remember 
him by. Dr. McGregor got back just in time to take part 
in the entertainment. His part he made as ridiculous and 
amusing as possible by his absurd blunders. Dr. Boone has 
been here for two or three days and is off and away again. 
He paid us several visits but not specially enjoyable ones. 
He was much pleased with Mollie Moore, whom he met for 
the first time. I tell Miss Mollie she always gets ahead of 
me when she tries the " poetry dodge " on our mutual friends. 
She is a charming girl. It is such a pleasure to have a 
friend to chatter nonsense to who enjoys it as much as I and 
does her full share. Capt. Empy, the Knight of the Sorrow- 
ful Countenance, is again in town and looks more fascinating 
than ever. He has not done himself the honor of calling yet. 

The troupe wish to get up a tragedy for next Friday night. 
But neither Mamma nor Mrs. Gary will engineer it, and so 
it is impossible. 

We are disappointed in Capt. Johnson. He behaves like a 
child. We all go out tomorrow to call on Mrs. Carouth and 
Mrs. Tooke and spend the day with Mrs. Savage. Spending 
the day is my perfect aversion. Whoever started the trying 
fashion of spending the day? It is too much of a good thing. 

This is certainly not a reading community. We have met 
only two or three persons who are acquainted with "The 
White Lady of Avenel." I think the general opinion is that 
she was a Louisiana refugee, a neighbor of ours. 14 

Johnny is over his passion of a week and is begging me 
to come out for a walk with him. Johnny is a shy admirer of 
Lizzie Irvine, a girl about twenty-two. She is quite pretty, 
one of four or five sisters living near. 

["Bonnie Castle," Tyler, Tex.] April 23: Such terrible 
news if true, but we cannot believe it. We know that vte 
have met with fearful reverses this year. All our coast cities 

14 The " White Lady " was a spirit mysteriously connected with the 
Avenel family in Sir Walter Scott's The Monastery. 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 331 

are conquered: gallant old Charleston has fallen, Wilmington 
and Mobile have passed out of our hands, and Richmond, 
" brave Richmond on the James," has been taken. But all 
that is nothing compared to the awful report from the Yan- 
kee papers that Gen. Lee, our strong arm of defense, has 
capitulated with 40,000 men without firing a gun, that most 
of our best generals were taken at the same time, and that 
what remains of that noble army is only a disorganized mob 
of despairing men. All this is too dreadful to believe. God 
spare us from this crushing blow and save our dying 
country! 15 

All refuse to believe such disaster, and the home life flows 
on as usual. Two dramatic performances by the natives, the 
amiable Capt. Johnson saying he did not wish the refugees 
even to attend. Mrs. Gary is vice-president, and I am 
secretary of the society. The gentlemen come in the evening 
and the ladies call in the day, but over every pleasure sweeps 
the shadow of the evil news. It may be true. It may be true. 
Mollie Moore, Lt, Holmes, and I rode out to the armory to 
see the soldiers drill. Met Col. and Mrs. Hill, all sympathiz- 
ing with Capt. Polys, who fell down while pulling the bell 
rope and broke his leg in two places. 

Just finished three embroidered cravats for Johnny. Fri- 
day Mamma and I finished a beautiful fawn-colored barege 
trimmed with black lace. It looks real stylish. My old white 
dress has been dyed by Lucy. She has become quite an adept 
at dyeing things. 

The rain came down in torrents Thursday but in the 
afternoon ceased and I rode up to school for Sister. Came 
through boggy roads and rushing streams at sundown. Found 
Lt. Holmes waiting to go with me to Mrs. Carson's to tea, 
to stay there until 8:30, and then to drive over to Dr. 
Moore's, Mollie's father's, to attend a private rehearsal. We 
had a pleasant time there until twelve, then the drive home, 
adieux to Lt. Holmes, and then the blessed oblivion of sleep. 
Went up to return Eliza Roberts' call late in the afternoon. 

15 General Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Va., April 9, 


Lt. Holmes caught up with me and came home and spent 
the evening. Busy sewing Tuesday until Lt. Holmes was 
announced, then had to spend the balance of the day amus- 
ing him. After he bowed himself away, I went over to see 
Mollie Moore and chatter nonsense. 

Mrs. Lily is more disagreeable than formerly, which is 
saying much. She is so abrupt. 

Had delicious white cake at Mrs. Lawrence's. All the 
members of the troupe wanted Mamma for president of the 
society, but she would not hear of it. Mrs. Swain, a perfect 
incapable, was called to the chair. Capt. Buck has brought 
me a book nicely commenced for my official records, and Lt. 
Holmes is to see they are kept according to rule. 10 Must 
send it around for members to sign. 

Mamma has been much disturbed on the subject of details 
for Mr. Smith, but Lt. Dupre arranged the detail as he passed 
through Marshall. She hopes to have no further trouble on 
that score. 

Am reading Goethe's Faust and am disappointed as I do 
not much enjoy it. Of course, it loses greatly in translation. 

We will miss Lt. Dupre now that he is ordered away, but 
there is always someone to take the absentee's place. 

[" Bonnie Castle/' Tyler, Tex.] April #S: Just finished a 
letter to Sarah Wadley, writing with homemade ink, the best 
we have had for many a day. 17 We also have homemade 
blacking, just as shiny as the old bought blacking. 18 Truly 
we are learning many things. Seven letters to answer, one 
from that trial, Dr. Weir, and an aggrieved one from Capt. 
Wylie. I told him not to write. Dr. Weir is stationed now at 
Henderson. Dr. Kunckers [?], a new acquaintance and a 

16 The " official " records were those of the local drama club. Perhaps 
Lt. Holmes and other intimate friends knew that Kate kept an ** un- 
official " diary. 

17 " Confederate ink " was made from many substitutes the bark of 
magnolia, dogwood, red or white oak, the rind of pomegranate, elder- 
berries, and green persimmons. Massey, Ersatz m the Confederacy, 

18 A favorite shoe blacking substitute was a mixture of soot or lamp- 
black and molasses, eggwhites, and vinegar, with oils and sometimes 
whiskey added. Ibid., 85. 

1866: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 333 

vigorous bore, walked back from the post office with Johnny 
and me and spent the evening. I am thankful he is ordered 
away in the morning. It is a strange and lamentable fact 
that all the bald, middle-aged bachelor doctors take a fancy 
to me, for I always had a distaste for doctors and specially 
detest that style. 

We hear that Lincoln is dead. 19 There can be no doubt, 
I suppose, that he has been killed by J. W. Booth. " Sic 
semper tyrannis" as his brave destroyer shouted as he sprang 
on his horse. All honor to J. Wilkes Booth, who has rid the 
world of a tyrant and made himself famous for generations. 
Surratt has also won the love and applause of all Southerners 
by his daring attack on Seward, whose life is trembling in 
the balance.- How earnestly we hope our two avengers may 
escape to the South where they will meet with a warm wel- 
come. It is a terrible tragedy, but what is war but one long 
tragedy? What torrents of blood Lincoln has caused to flow, 
and how Seward has aided him in his bloody work. I cannot 
be sorry for their fate. They deserve it. They have reaped 
their just reward. 

There is great gloom over the town. All think that Lee 
and his army have surrendered. No one will take the Con- 
federate money today, and as there is no gold in circulation 
there is no medium of exchange. Rumors, rumors, but noth- 
ing definite. Lee is certainly captured. Our strong arm of 
victory, the chief hope of our Country, is a prisoner with an 
army variously estimated at from 6,000 to 43,000 men cap- 
tured on their retreat from Richmond. Dr. Kunckers told us 
as a secret that Johnston with his entire army has sur- 
rendered, but that news is suppressed through motives of 
policy. Our papers say Johns ton's army has been reinforced 
by the flower of Lee's army, that he has a band of tried 
veterans and will make a determined stand. We know not 
what to believe. All arc fearfully depressed. Lee's defeat is 

10 April 15, 1865. 

20 The attempt on the life of W. H. Seward made at the same time 
John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln miscarried, Lewis Powell, alias Payne, 
was the would-be assassin instead of John H. Surratt. Benjamin P. 
Thomas, Abraham Lincoln (New York, 195$) , 


a crushing blow hard to recover from. Maybe after a few 
days we can rally for another stand. Now, most seem to 
think it useless to struggle longer, now that we are subju- 
gated. I say, " Never, never, though we perish in the track 
of their endeavor! " Words, idle words. What can poor weak 
women do? 

I cannot bear to hear them talk of defeat. It seems a re- 
proach to our gallant dead. If nothing else can force us to 
battle on for freedom, the thousands of grass-grown mounds 
heaped on mountainside and in every valley of our country 
should teach us to emulate the heroes who lie beneath and 
make us clasp closer to our hearts the determination io be 
free or die. " When the South is trampled from the earth 
Her women can die and be free." I say with my whole soul: 

Shame to the traitor-heart that springs 
To the faint, soft arms of Peace, 
Though the Roman eagle shook his wings 
At the very gates of Greece. 

Monday it was distressing to see the gloom on every face. 
We had an impromptu dining that day, and all seemed in 
the depths of despair, could think and talk of nothing but 
defeat and disaster. Mrs. Savage's family, except Anna, Dr. 
McGregor, Lt. Holmes, Mr. Boone, Kate's brother here on a 
visit, and two or three other gentlemen were our guesls. The 
war was discussed in all its bearings. Seldom has there been 
a gloomier feast. Yesterday took dinner with Mrs. Prentice 
and returned in time to receive Mollie Sandford, Lt. Holmes, 
Lt. Martin, and Dr. Winn, a nice Texan and a friend of Dr. 
Buckner's, whom he saw about six weeks ago. We were de- 
lighted to meet him. He could tell us so much about our 
friends in Mississippi. He called this morning to say good- 
bye, now on his way back to his command, or at least next 
week. We will send letters by him. If My Brother and Uncle 
Bo are among the prisoners, it is probable they will soon 
be paroled and at home. But we know not what has been 
their fate. 21 

21 Captain W. It. Stone, Acting Assistant Adjutant General of N. H, 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 3S5 

When Johnny first heard the ill news, he was wild with 
excitement and insisted on joining the army at once. We 
were wretched about him, but today he has quieted down 
and is willing to await further developments. 

We expected to move to our new house on Monday, and 
Mamma is worried about paying the rent. If the Negroes are 
freed, we will have no income whatever, and what will we 
do? As things have turned out, we wish we could stay here 
until we know what is to be our fate. 

["Bonnie Castle," Tyler, Tex.] April 30: We went out 
last night to serenade Capt. Polys. The poor fellow will be 
in bed, although the lovely spring days are so fair that they 
make one love life in spite of trouble. The girls, Mollie 
Moore and three of the Irvines, came over to give us a sere- 
nade, and as it was too early to be in bed they came up to 
the gallery for a chat and to hear Lt. Dupre tell the news. 
We all joined and walked up through the fresh, perfumed 
spring evening and bright moonlight to comfort Capt. Polys 
with songs and sympathy. He and his wife are most appreci- 
ative of any attention. 

Lt. Dupre came back yesterday but without his wife who 
is still in the Federal lines after preparing for months to get 
out. She was on the boat with her baggage and children 
when she was ordered back home because the names of the 
little girls were not in the passport. It is a sore disappoint- 
ment to the Lieutenant. lie has been separated from them 
so long. But with the elastic Creole temperament, he is as 
gay as ever. He says he was homesick at Shreveport and was 
glad to see Tyler again. He brings more encouraging news. 
Gen. Johnston is at Augusta, Ga., at the head of 125,000 of 
the best troops in the world, the veterans of the Confederacy, 
and will make a gallant fight. 22 The Arkansas, Louisiana, 
and Missouri troops are passing resolutions declaring they 

Harris' brigade, was paroled April D, 1865, along with other men of 
General Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and was permitted to retain 
his side arms and his horse. " Paroles of the Army of Northern Vir- 
ginia," Southern Historical Society Papers, XV (January-December, 
1887) > 326. 
22 General Johnston had surrendered April 86, 1865. 


will never give up this side of the river and are ready to 
enlist for ninety-nine years. 23 And Lee surrendered only 
6,000 fighting men. I hope My Brother was one of the band. 
Capt. Birchett sends us word Col. Tom Manlove was killed 
in the fight at Hatcher's Inn, but we think that is a mistake. 
We have heard of them all since then. 

Mrs. Wells and Lt. Holmes spent the day, but he has been 
here every day for a week. Mollie Moore, the Irvine girls, 
and I are much interested in the subject of cravats. They 
wish to make half a dozen for their different " heart's de- 
lights/' and they come over and get Mamma and me to do 
the embroidery for them. I have just finished a very chaste 
and elegant affair for Lt. Holmes, payment of a gambling 
debt, and I am making one for Mollie Sandford to give to 
her best soldier, a small red-headed warrior. Lt. Holmes 
showed me this evening a letter from his mother in Mary- 
land. It came out on a flag-of-truce boat, his first letter from 
her in three years. He also showed me a letter from " the 
little widow." I am sorry Lt. Holmes is such a dissipated 
man. He is gay and pleasant and a gentleman. Why will 
he drink? He says he intends giving it up forever. 

[" The Rest," Tyler, Tex.] May 7: We have been estab- 
lished in our pleasant new home for a week and find it 
delightful. We have all in order now and can enjoy it. The 
servants are efficient movers by now, and we had little 
trouble. A showery Sunday, and so we could not keep our 
engagement to go to church to hear the new minister. We 
lounged and gossiped all the morning. We are still puzzled 
over the distant behavior of Mrs. Savage and Mrs. Carson. 
Mrs. Savage seems in a dreadful bad humor and scolds some 

28 The most dramatic resistance to surrender in the Trans-Mississippi 
Department was that of General Jo Shelby, commander of the Missouri 
Cavalry division. From Pittsburg, Tex., the division started to Shreve- 
port, the headquarters, where Shelby hoped to have General Smith 
deposed and replaced with a general who would never surrender. Upon 
learning of the mass surrender at Shreveport, Shelby stopped his troops 
at Corsicanna, Tex., and put into effect a plan he had long had for such 
an emergency escape to Mexico with an organisation made up of all 
officers and men who refused to surrender. Daniel O'FIaherty, General 
Jo Shelby, Undefeated Rebel (Chapel Hill, 1954) 

1865: (f THE DARKEST HOUR " 337 

of us whenever we meet. The last time she dined with us, 
she gave Johnny such a-leeture I think it will be long before 
he dares visit her house again, but she is thawing and slowly 
forgiving us for our sins, whatever they may be. But Mrs. 
Carson still wears the stately front of offended dignity. We 
see only Katie now. Eddie is also offended with Johnny. 
How lightly the close friendship of several years has been 
broken up, and I know Mrs. Savage has done it. Mrs. 
Carson is looking for a large box of clothes from the river. 
Our silver will be in the box, and Mrs. Carson is not at all 
pleased at the idea. But how more than foolish to write of 
these trivial quarrels when affairs of such moment should 
be engaging all our thoughts. 

Johnny went to the prairie on Friday. He did not like the 
idea of the trip, but Mamma thought it best for him to go. 
He should be learning to help about the business, and then 
it will get him away from this region of excitement. He will 
not be kept wrought up by constant stirring reports, and 
perhaps when he returns he will be willing to settle for awhile 
to quiet study. Jessy came down from the place. Hoccles 
is dead. Everything else is progressing satisfactorily. 

There is Capt. Buck's rap, his regular Sunday afternoon 
visit. Mamma and he are quite friends. He tells her all his 
family troubles. Mrs, Hill is his daughter. 

[" The Rest," Tyler, Tex.] May 9: Mamma is off with 
Capt. Buck to visit Mrs. Tooke. Several letters, one from 
Jimmy to Johnny describing his last visit to the river. One 
from Jimmy Carson and one from Missie Morris. The girls 
are having a lovely time in Homer with so many soldiers 
camped near. Most of them are Missourians. The tallest, 
handsomest men in the army come from Missouri. A regi- 
ment from that state is a splendid-looking body of men. But 
I do not believe those girls arc having any nicer time than 
we are enjoying here in quiet little Tyler, Missie says there 
were no engagements and no marriages from the winter's 

How comfortably our move was accomplished. Mamma 
gave general orders to the Corps d'Afrique to move all our 


" duds " to the new house. We have only the bare necessaries 
except servants. They are plentiful. Then Mamma seated 
herself to the perusal of Burns, Kate went to sewing, I went 
off calling, returned to dinner, and then went out again. 
Late in the afternoon Johnny and I went over to our new 
home to receive Mr. Moore, who had an engagement to call 
to say good-bye as his furlough is out. Found everything in 
quite good order and not looking nearly as bare as we im- 
agined it would. Said good-bye to Mr. Moore an hour, and 
then read until time for a walk, when Johnny went off to 
escort his bright particular star, Miss Lizzie Irvine. I went 
up to meet Mamma and welcome her to her new home, 
which we have named " The Rest " and which we intend 
to enjoy to the fullest until stern Fate again casts us out on 
the world. Lt. Holmes came to tea, though we had explained 
to him we would not be ready for visitors before Tuesday. 
He said he forgot our warning. He has a settled habit of 
coming every day. I suppose he could not break himself of it. 
Lt. Holmes and I went over to Mrs. Savage's to tea the 
other day taking Sister with us. Found everybody there 
utterly whipped, " routed horse, foot, and dragoons." Spent 
rather an uncomfortable evening. Mrs. Savage and Mrs. 
Carson amuse themselves spreading the news of my engage- 
ment to Lt. Holmes. But I cannot really blame them. When 
two people are as much together, such reports will arise, and 
it does no good to tell them, as we do, that there is no en- 
gagement. Have not an idea of marrying him or anyone else. 
We are friends, nothing more. Such reports die out after a 
time and meanwhile we see much pleasure and amusement 
together. Mrs. Savage, from being the hottest Rebel, is now 
" resigned, submissive, weak/' and Mrs. Lily is an open and 
aggressive loyalist and most disagreeable. We were glad to 
get back and find Mamma and Lt. Dupre having a pleasant 
chat. Mrs. Tooke called in the morning accompanied by a 
new young man called Hardin, a rollicking fellow from Ar- 
kansas, an incessant talker. Mrs. Tooke invited us to go the 
following afternoon and call on a young lady visiting her, 
but on the evening in question first came Mollie Moore, 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 339 

Lizzie Irvine, and Mrs. Carson, and as they left Col. and 
Mrs. Bradforte and their train came to take tea, and then 
Dr. and Mrs. Walker. They had heard all kinds of dis- 
couraging reports, and they talked till we were all nearly 
desperate. In the morning we were wretched. Affairs seemed 
hopeless when Mrs, Savage and Mrs. Lily arrived harrowing 
us to the last pitch of endurance by their " I told you so " 
manner and their " I knew it all the time/' Their covert 
abuse of our leaders and excuses for the Yankees were most 
exasperating. Mrs. Lily is a trial to me. I hope we will not 
see any of them again until things are settled and we know 
what to believe. 

They left a few minutes before sunset. I hurried off in 
the carriage to keep the appointment with the girls. The sun 
was down when we left town, and when we drove up to Mrs. 
Tooke's door we saw them sitting at supper in the hall. They 
have only two rooms. But we made the best of it. Went in 
and chatted for a few minutes, refusing supper, I know to 
Mrs. Tooke's relief. Then home through the soft moonlight, 
we girls not at all afraid, though it was after eight when we 
reached home. We found Lt. Dupre and Lt. Holmes spend- 
ing the evening and made an apology for our late arrival. 
We went to see Mrs. Gary, who looks very comfortable, and 
stopped to see Capt. Polys, who is improving. 

Lucy is sick but Adeline fills her place acceptably. We 
have have an excellent garden, though our neighbors said 
Warren was not doing a thing right in it.-' 1 We can send 
salad to the hospital every day and soon other vegetables. 

We find ourselves so comfortable that we are frightened. 
We fear it cannot last a pretty six-room house, nicely im- 
proved grounds and surroundings with the flowers in full 
bloom. We are thankful to be at rest once more. I am 
busy embroidering a black velvet tobacco bag with scarlet 
fuchsias for Lt. Holmes. 

["The ResU" Tyler, Tex.] May 15: Conquered, Sub- 
mission, Subjugation are words that burn into my heart, and 

114 Quite likely Warren was planting his vegetables on beds, as was the 
custom in the wet oil of northeast Louisiana, instead of down in a row, 


yet I feel that we are doomed to know them in all their 
bitterness. The war is rushing rapidly to a disasterous close. 25 
Another month and our Confederacy will be a Nation no 
longer, but we will be slaves, yes slaves, of the Yankee 

The degradation seems more than we can bear. How can 
we bend our necks to the tyrants' yoke? Our glorious strug- 
gle of the last four years, our hardships, our sacrifices, and 
worst of all, the torrents of noble blood that have been shed 
for our loved Country all, all in vain. The best and bravest 
of the South sacrificed and for nothing. Yes, worse than 
nothing. Only to rivet more firmly the chains that bind us. 
The bitterness of death is in the thought. We could bear the 
loss of my brave little brothers when we thought that they 
had fallen at the post of duty defending their Country, but 
now to know that those glad, bright spirits suffered and 
toiled in vain, that the end is overwhelming defeat, the 
thought is unendurable. And we may never be allowed to 
raise a monument where their graves sadden the hillside. 
There is a gloom over all like the shadow of Death. We have 
given up hope for our beloved Country and all are humili- 
ated, crushed to the earth. A past of grief and hardship, a 
present of darkness and despair, and a future without hope. 
Truly our punishment is greater than we can bear. 

Since Johnston's surrender the people in this department 
are hopeless. If we make a stand, it would only delay the 
inevitable with the loss of many valuable lives. The leaders 
say the country is too much disheartened to withstand the 
power of a victorious Yankee army flushed with victory. 
Still, many hope there will be a rally and one more desperate 

25 The situation throughout the Trans-Mississippi Department was 
chaotic: General John Pope, commander of the Federal Military Division 
of Missouri, wrote General Kirby Smith at Shreveport requesting him 
to surrender, but Smith delayed. On April SI an order was road to 
soldiers on dress parade in Shreveport telling them of Lee's surrender 
but asking them to retain hope. They were told that they were the 
hope of the Confederacy and that their supplies were inexhaustible. At 
a mass meeting the same day, speakers urged resistance to surrender as 
did officers in command of troops. Similar meetings occurred elsewhere 
hi the department Blessington, Walker's Texas Diuiyfon, 306-307; 
Thomas, Arkansas in War and Reconstruction, 305-14. 

1865: e( THE DARKEST HOUR " 341 

struggle for freedom. If we cannot gain independence, we 
might compel better terms. 

By the twenty-fourth we will know our fate Submission 
to the Union (how we hate the word!) , Confiscation, and 
Negro equality or a bloody unequal struggle to last we 
know not how long. God help us, for vain is the help of man. 

We hope President Davis is really making his way to this 
department, as we hear. 26 His presence would give new life 
to the people. Poor Booth, to think that he fell at last. 27 
Many a true heart at the South weeps for his death. Caesar 
had his Brutus, Murat his Charlotte Corday, and Lincoln 
his Booth. Lincoln's fate overtook him in the flush of his 
triumph on the pinnacle of his fame, or rather infamy. We 
are glad he is not alive to rejoice in our humiliation and 
insult us by his jokes. The circumstance of his death forms 
a most complete tragedy. Many think Andy Johnson worse 
than Lincoln, but that is simply impossible. Added to our 
grief at the public calamity is our great anxiety about My 
Brother. He has had time to get here, if he was paroled, and 
we have not had a word from him. In the four-day fight 
before we gave up Petersburg, our army lost fifteen thousand 
men, and we tremble to think he may be among them. We 
hear that Tom Manlove is certainly dead, captured and died 
of his wounds. 

Mamma is sewing with a heavy heart on a jacket for Lt. 
Holmes. Last week we made a heavy white suit for Lt. 
Dupre. It was an undertaking. A letter from Mrs. Amis to 
Mamma. She writes most despondently. Sunday Lt. Dupre, 
Lt. Holmes, Capt. Buck, Col. and Mrs. Bradforte, and Capt. 
Birchett all came up to discuss the gloomy outlook. We all 
meet now just to condole with each other. A more doleful 
crowd I never saw. Capt. Birchett says he is going to South 
America rather than live under Yankee rule. His father was 
president of an indignation meeting held in Vicksburg to 
pass resolutions of sympathy and regret on the death of 
Lincoln. Capt. Birchett is too disgusted for expression. 

26 President Davis was captured May 10, 1865, near Irwinsville, Ga. 

27 Booth fled from Washington after shooting President Lincoln but 
was killed in Virginia, April 26, 1865. 


[" The Rest," Tyler, Tex.] May 17: Just a succession of 
callers and calls. Everybody too restless and wretched to 
stay at home. Must talk it over with somebody. Such a 
constant succession of people is very tiring. Went about ten 
miles over the roughest roads to a fish fry at a tiny creek 
where I doubt there ever was a fish. A gay day, but quite 
exhausted at late bedtime when the last gentlemen left. 
Mamma was wise not to go. 

We have finished Lt. Holmes' grey suit, and it was a job. 
I hope no other soldier of our acquaintance is in need of 
clothes. Such sewing palls on one. Mamma is most energetic 
about it. 

Mollie Moore and Lt. Holmes were with us until nine to- 
night, and then Dr. McGregor, Maj. Squires, Lt. Dupre, and 
Capt. Giday came and stayed until eleven. These two new 
men belong to a Louisiana battery of artillery and camped 
here only one night on their way to the Brazos for forage. 
Both are Creoles and entertaining. Lt. Holmes, Sister, and 
I had a pleasant visit to Mrs. Levy. 

[" The Rest," Tyler, Tex.] May 20: Still on the rack of 
uncertainty as regards our future. Flying rumors of the most 
exciting character keep us in a fever of apprehension. We do 
not know whether armed resistance is over or whether we 
are to fight on to the bitter end. If the news of the way in 
which the people of the Trans-Mississippi Department are 
ground to the earth is true, it would be better for us to resist 
as long as there is a man left to load a gun. Gloom and 
despondency cloud every face. Mrs. Savage's are the only 
people that rejoice and are glad that " this cruel war is over/* 
Better years of battle than a peace like this is the cry of all 
we see. Our latest news is that people in this department 
have an armistice of thirty days to resign themselves to the 
inevitable. I suppose it is a breathing space to collect 
our scattered energies and brace ourselves for the stern trials 
of the future. 28 

2S On May 4 General Taylor surrendered at Mobile, and on May 8 
Colonel J. T. Sprague, emissary of General Pope, arrived m Shreveport 
to receive General Smith's answer to the proposed surrender. Smith 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 343 

And Nature smiles down on all this wretchedness. The 
loveliest of May mornings and the air is sweet with the per- 
fume of the star jasmine. Our summer house in the yard is 
covered with it, and it is now white with blooms. The finest 
variety we ever saw. This soil suits it better than ours. That 
arbour is a favorite retreat, and we spend many gay, dolor- 
ous, and charming hours in its shade. 

Sister is off to school, Sunday school, and we are all ready 
for church. It behooves us to ask aid from Our Maker when 
all else is failing us. 

Capt. Birchett bade us a long, long adieu Wednesday 
morning, perhaps his last. He promised Mamma to use every 
effort at Shreveport to get news of My Brother and Uncle 
Bo. Mollie Moore spent yesterday with us. All busy sewing 
on two suits of soldier clothes. We were all unanimous on 
the subject of sending Mrs. Wells a pair of pants to make, 
and our description of the destitute state of the poor Confed 
was so moving that she sent them back the same evening 
beautifully made. We took a well-earned siesta and were 
roused by Capt. Buck, Mr. Donnely, and several other 
visitors. Walked over after sundown to tell Mrs. Bradforte 
good-bye. She is a splendid woman, elegant and stylish, and 
so entertaining. Her husband, Col. Bradforte, is an old West 
Pointer. We will miss them greatly. She can entertain in a 
tent better than most people in a drawing room. From 

Friday I was busy embroidering cravats for Mollie Moore 
and Neta Irvine. Drove over in the afternoon to consult 
them, and on my return Mamma, Mrs. Bradforte, and Mrs. 
Lawrence took the carriage and went over to call on the 
latter, I was left to entertain Dr. McGregor and later Mrs. 

refused, at first. He called a conference of the governors of Louisiana, 
Texas, and Arkansas at Marshall, Tex,, to consider terms. The governors 
decided in favor of surrender. At the same time in Marshall, Generals 
Jo Shelby, S. B. Buckner, William B. Preston, and John G. Walker 
met and elected General Buckner to succeed General Eorby Smith. 
Soon thereafter General Buckner left for New Orleans, where he signed 
surrender terms which were approved by General Kirby Smith on June 
&, 1865. Thomas, Arkansas in War and Reconstruction, 808-15; 
OTlaherty, General Jo SMby, 


Ligruski. Later Lt. Holmes came and stayed until eleven 
thirty. He gave me his full views on matrimony. They do 
not entirely agree with mine. 

All the days are filled with people coming and going. The 
same set happens in nearly every day. A crowd of us was 
in the jasmine arbour yesterday evening when Mamma came 
back from calling regaling ourselves on Confederate cakes 
and fine water. Lt. Holmes and I took the carriage and called 
on Mrs. Prentice. She was not at home, but the drive up 
hill and down dale was delightful. Lt. Dupre hailed us com- 
ing back, and we took him up and all stayed till bedtime. 
Nobody wants to be alone. All must see their fellow sufferers 
and compare notes. Mrs. Carson sends us word every day 
or so to expect her and her brother, Capt. Waller, and we 
did for a time. Now we know hers are but idle words. Capt. 
Birchett is back again and roused us at three the other after- 
noon to amuse him. Played chess until Mollie Moore came 
and then Lt. Holmes and we adjourned to the yard and had 
a merry battle with roses. The great bushes are masses of 
pink and white and the jasmine perfumes the air of the 
house and yard. It will always be connected in my mind 
with pleasant episodes of this grievous spring. \Ve went 
through a pelting shower to spend an hour with Mrs. Levy. 
Then made a few minute's call on Mrs. Savage and were 
shocked and repelled by their rejoicing and delight at the 
close of the war. 

["The Rest/' Tyler, Tex.] May 21: We are expecting 
Johnny back from the prairie and we look for My Brother, 
Uncle Bo, and Jimmy every hour- No news from them yet. 
Uncle John's little children are great pets with us. Kate 
keeps them so nice, though it has been a job to keep white 
dresses for them. Material is so difficult to get. Kate is 
sweet about letting us do as we please with the little children. 
Sally idolizes Johnny and will spend hours playing quietly 
in his room while he studies. She tags around after him all 
the time, and he is very fond of her. She is a pretty thing and 
Elise will be too when a little older. Uncle John worked in 
the Commissary office for a long time. As he has seemed to 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 345 

have consumption for years, he could not join the army. He 
is our only male relative not in the ranks. He will get a 
school. He should be a good teacher. 

Coming in yesterday evening from the gallery after Lt. 
Holmes left, Mamma told me that she wished I would send 
Lt. Holmes off, that she much preferred my marrying Joe to 
Lt. Holmes, though neither was a suitable match, as Joe is 
too young and Lt. Holmes too dissipated. I was surprised. 
I did not know she was taking it seriously, and I could 
honestly assure her I had not an idea of marrying either of 
them. 29 I could have told her the same of Dr. McGregor, 
Lt. Valentine, and the conceited Capt. Birchett, should he 
ever make up his mind to propose. She seemed much re- 
lieved. I thought she understood the point of view of most 
of the girls. One must not distress a soldier by saying No 
when he is on furlough. They have enough to bear. They 
may be going back to sudden death. Then they will most 
probably forget you for a sweetheart at the next camp, or 
their love will grow cool by the time you meet again. So it 
is just a piece of amusement on both sides. If Mrs. Carson 
and Mrs. Savage only knew that I am as determined not to 
marry Joe as they are determined to prevent it, how much 
trouble and maneuvering it would save them. But I cannot 
well explain it to them. Joe can when he gets home, and their 
minds will be at rest. 

Lt. Holmes has stopped drinking for some weeks now, 
since I asked him to do so one day during rehearsals when 
I saw ho was going too far. He was very nice about it. His 
face flushed and he thanked me but did not get angry as I 

["The Rest," Tyler, Tex.] May 27: Anarchy and con- 
fusion reign over all. Jayhawking is the order of the day. 
The soldiers are disbanding throughout the Department and 
seizing Government property wherever they can find it. The 

29 Mrs. Stone was perhaps testing Kate to discern her feelings for 
Lt. Holmes. After all, Kate was twenty-four years old and getting 
dangerously near to being an old maid especially when compared to the 
dauntless Amanda, who had married at sixteen after rejecting ten 


Government offices here have been sacked. All work is over 
and all who can are going home. At Shreveport the demorali- 
zation is worse even than here. The officers are scattering to 
the four winds, and Jayhawkers and private soldiers are 
stopping and robbing them whenever found. Col. Bradforte 
was the first here to desert his post. We hear that the mules 
were taken from his ambulance and wagon. Maj. Rhett, 
Gen. Hayes, and indeed everyone we hear of has suffered the 
same fate while fleeing to the interior of the state or to 
Mexico. Gen. Kirby Smith has also been robbed. We do 
not know but suppose this Department has surrendered as 
the soldiers have disbanded and are making their way home. 
We are still in ignorance of what disposal is to be made of 
us by our conquerors. The excitement in the town is so great 
we can think and live only in the present. Everything is in 
a turmoil. " To the victor belongs the spoils," but he will not 
get his dues in this Department. We are all glad to see the 
soldiers divide what Government property they can find, 
if they will only stop there and not let the desperadoes rob 
the citizens as they may do. Some of the people deserve 
robbing, for they joined with the soldiers in sacking the 

Jimmy came home Thursday no longer a soldier but a 
poor discouraged boy. All his regiment went home but 
twenty and the colonel disbanded them. Jimmy and the 
three Carson boys were of the twenty who stood to their 
guns. Will Carson came back with him. Jimmy and Joe 
Carson went out to the river to see the prospect there. We 
are so glad to have Jimmy safe at home, but oh, what a 
different homecoming from what we anticipated when he 
enlisted. No feasting. No rejoicing. Only sadness and tears. 
Johnny starts for Brokenburn tomorrow to get Uncle Bob 
to plant some corn if possible so that there will be something 
when we move back in the fall. Of course we cannot go now 
and leave the crop on the prairie. It is our only hope for a 
cent of money. Johnny will also go on to Vicksburg and try 
to get news of My Brother and Uncle Bo. The long suspense 
is very trying and Mamma longs so for My Brother io get 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 347 

back to help her. She feels so at sea in these new conditions 
of life. It seems strange that we can journey now where we 
please, " The world before us where to choose/' if only we 
had the money. Jimmy goes to the prairie in a few days to 
see what money can be raised there. I took him yesterday to 
see half of the girls in town. Determined to lose no time, he 
and Johnny are escorting two of them to church this morn- 
ing. Jimmy got back nearly out of clothes of course, and 
Johnny, after his last trip, is nearly as badly off, having 
swapped off about every respectable article he had. We had 
to go to work at once. Fortunately Mamma has secured 
some blue linen from the department stores and had plenty 
of homespun. Shirts are the most difficult to get. 

Mamma keeps us in terror threatening to move to the 
farm until fall. It is about like being in jail with the privilege 
of looking through the window, but she can decide nothing 
until she sees or hears from My Brother. 

Lt. Holmes' mess is broken up and he is staying with us 
until he and Lt. Dupre can get off together. Traveling is so 
unsafe just now for officers. But Lt. Dupre is so anxious to 
get back to his wife, they will leave in a day or so. Their 
part of the spoils in lieu of pay is an ambulance and pair of 
mules with which they will journey lo Monroe together. The 
officials have burned all their papers. Ben Clarkson stopped 
for two days on his way home. He is the nicest sort of young 
fellow. The usual company, Dr. Meagher has returned and 
his wife is happy. 

There is Capt. Birchett for about his last Sunday after- 
noon visit. 

["The Rest/ 3 Tyler, Tex.] May 81: How quiet and de- 
serted the house is since they all left. Johnny and Jimmy 
started Monday for Louisiana to be absent five or six weeks. 
Yesterday Lt. Dupre and Lt. Holmes plain "Mr." after 
this said good-bye to us. How much we miss them. I 
wonder will it be the same when we meet Lt, Holmes again 
after the five months of separation? He wishes to correspond 
but it is better not. The only tokens exchanged were geran- 
ium leaves* Which will be treasured longest? He has been 


perfectly sober for two months and has made many good 
resolutions which we trust he will keep, even though we 
never meet again. We have seen him every day but three 
for three months, and we miss him dreadfully now he has 
gone forever. 80 

We finished the last sewing the morning they left with 
the two lieutenants, Dr. McGregor, and Capt. Williams in 
the house and all talking at once. Lt. Holmes and I went 
around to bid Sally Grissman and several of the girls good- 
bye. I know they all could have dispensed with my calls on 
the occasion, but I went just the same. We have no one 
" on guard " now for the first time in a year. I would " set 
my traps " for Capt. Waller, Mrs. Carson's nephew, but he 
is too much like his aunt and looks like he had been raised 
on blanc mange. A most amusing note from Mollie Moore in 
answer to my letter of condolence on our mutual loss. Her 
best soldier has also torn himself away. 

Our friends in the Ordinance Department gave us so many 
little things during the grand crash that we feel quite rich 
and are delighted with our extra furnishings. All the ordi- 
nance stores were distributed or rather left open to all, and 
we have a quantity of ammunition. It remains to be seen 
whether the Yankees will allow us to keep it. It is reported 
that President Davis has not been captured and that the 
Federal authorities are most monstrously kind to the soldiers. 

Am tired out cutting straw to plait. It is wondrous strange 
to see how little money people get on with these days. 
Johnny and Jimmy started on their trip of 300 miles with 
just $2 in specie, and we feel quite rich when Jimmy manages 
to make $1.50 in gold in a day. Rather a change from $60 
a day he was bringing in when the collapse came. One thing 
they supplied us with is plenty of writing paper, our first 
liberal allowance for two years. The boys of the town keep 
up a constant firing with the first powder they have had for 
three years, and it sounds like a brisk skirmish all around 
the town. 

[" The Rest," Tyler, Tex.] June U: My Brother is with 
30 Kate's feelings for Lt. Holmes are obvious despite the editorial " we/' 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 349 

us at last, safe and well, and words are powerless to tell how 
thankful we are. He came last Thursday evening with Jimmy 
and Johnny, whom he met at Homer and turned back, as he 
had come by home and accomplished all that they could do. 

He came by way of Cincinnati and was one month reach- 
ing Vicksburg from Lynchburg. He brings the sad news of 
Aunt Laura's death in February. She died of grief at Bever- 
ly's loss. She never left her bed after the little darling's 
death. She just lost her interest in life and faded away. The 
doctors attending said she had no disease, only heartbreak 
and no desire to live, and they could not rouse her nor give 
her a hold on life. Hers was a sensitive, fine, high-strung soul 
that could not brave disaster. Dr. Buckner is in Vicksburg 
utterly desolate. How kind he was to My Brother, giving 
him a horse, clothes, and all that he needed. Dr. Buckner is 
well-fixed financially as his clerk, Mr, Peters, kept his drug- 
store going on and made a lot of money. The first time Dr. 
Buckner came home on furlough, some friends told him Mr. 
Peters was robbing him right and loft. Dr. Buckner went 
right on to his store, caught Mr. Peters by the collar, gave 
him a good shaking and cursing, and told him, u If, when I 
come back again, I find that you have cheated me, I shall 
kill you/' Ever since, they say, Mr. Peters has been scrupu- 
lously honest, straight as a siring, and has turned over a lot 
of money to Dr. Buekner. Mr. Peters is a Vermonter, six 
feet one, and Dr. Buekner is five feet live hut a fighter all 

Aunt Laura died while at Bladen Springs, Ala., with Aunt 
Sarah, and Dr. Buckner was with her at the last. My 
Brother's parole gave permission for him and his servant 
with two horses and his sidearms to return home free of 
charge, hut he arrived at Vicksburg without a thing. Wesley 
was forced away at the point of the bayonet when he insisted 
on following Mnrse William on the boat. Then My Brother 
was attacked by a mob and broke his sword over his knee 
and threw it in the Ohio River rather than give it up to the 
haughty Federal soldiers. They would not furnish transport- 
lation unless he would take the oath of allegiance, and so 


he sold his horses to get money to get to Vicksburg, where 
he fortunately met Dr. Buckner. 

Mamma is up on the prairie and does not yet know of My 
Brother's return. Johnny 'has gone for her, and we expect 
her on Thursday. What an immense relief it will be to her. 

[" The Rest," Tyler, Tex.] June 6: The house is very 
quiet now that the boys are all away again. The two weeks 
they were here, they kept us in a constant turmoil. Joe was 
here only a week. He succeded in getting his mother off, 
and in her train Mrs. Savage's and Mrs. Prentice's families, 
just a week after he came. All have gone home. Willy and 
Jimmy Carson remained to help bring out the Negroes later. 
We saw them constantly and, as all four of the boys are wild 
about girls, they kept me busy introducing them around, 
looking over their notes, and making bouquets for them to 
present to anybody, just so it was a girl. Mamma did not 
get home from the prairie until Saturday night, and she was 
almost ill from distress and fatigue. But My Brother's pres- 
ence was her best restorative. He went some distance on the 
road to meet her. 

My Brother left last Wednesday for Louisiana. He was 
going by way of Spring Bank and only gave himself time 
scant time to reach Brokenburn by the Fourth of July, 
when all abandoned places will be confiscated to the Govern- 
ment if the owners or agents are not on them. We hated so 
to see him go, but the business was imperative. He will 
probably not return before September. We gave him quite a 
list of articles to bring out, if he returns in the ambulance. 
Now that civilization commences again, we need so many 
things we have done without and hardly missed in the ex- 
citement of living. 

My Brother is looking well, much more cheerful and 
happier than when he came. The last four years has changed 
him little in looks. He told me all about his love for Kate. 
They were engaged for several years and were devoted to 
each other yet let a trifle part them, a caprice they both 
bitterly repented but too late. But I suppose it was best for 
him, as he does not mourn for her dead in her young beauty, 

1865: e< THE DARKEST HOUR " 351 

wife of another, as he would had she been his bride. But oh, 
my dear little friend, Kate, the suffering was hers. She 
suffered, suffered, and I know was glad to answer the call 
for rest. He says he cannot understand the fascination 
Eugenia exerted over him when in her presence, that he 
never loved her, and that he rejoiced when he heard of her 
marriage. But when with her, he could not resist her wiles. 
He thinks Mrs. Rossman and Willy Gibson are engaged and 
is satisfied Willy Gibson has the same feeling for Mrs. Ross- 
man that he had for Eugenia when in her toils. It is one 
chapter well closed. 

Jimmy and Johnny started Thursday for Lamar County 
on a grand beef -driving and sugar expedition. They will be 
absent some time. Willy and Jimmy Carson are living now 
out on the place and are only in occasionally. 

The Yankee company are in town but keep so quiet we 
forget their presence. We have not seen them though they 
came a week ago. There was no demonstration of any kind, 
and the Negroes for the present arc going on just as usuaL 
No proclamation issued. Would not know there was an 
enemy in the Department. We all went to church today 
expecting to be outraged by a sight of the whole Yankee 
detachment but not a blue coat was in sight. There arc 
only twenty men here, but the regiment, is looked for this 
afternoon. Then I .suppose we shall feel the heavy hand. 
Capt. St. Clair has completed his disgrace by being the only 
man in town who will entertain a Yankee and the first to 
take office under the new rulers. The general feeling of con- 
tempt for him is too deep for words. 

We were overwhelmingly busy for some time making 
clothes for the boys. Now we have little to do, and I am at 
my old trade, plaiting straw for Mamma to make into hats. 
Mr* Pierson, a new acquaintance, calls quite frequently. He 
is from New Orleans and is winding up some business here. 
And we were gelling to like Capt. Waller quite well when 
he left with Mrs. Carson. Our friends among the towns- 
people are very sociable. Nearly all our refugee friends have 


[" The Rest," Tyler, Tex.] July 2: We all joined forces 
and quilted a silk comfort yesterday, and my fingers are sore 
from it today. Quilting is my pet aversion, though Mamma 
says I am a most rapid hand. I hurry up to get through a 
disagreeable job. 

Capt. Smith is making himself very pleasant and we see 
him frequently. There are compensations in our lot as one 
goes, another comes. We have known him from our first 
residence, but he has not been a regular attache until re- 
cently. The Irvine girls brought their brother, Lt. Irvine, a 
handsome gentlemanly fellow but inclined to corpulency 
much to his distaste, to call. Capt. Smith is shorn of half of 
his hirsute glories, and, while he looks more civilized, it is not 
an improvement. 

Dr. McGregor is still here and comes up to weary us with 
long, prosey visits. The last time, however, he was quite 
agreeable but left a bad farewell by praising the Yankee 
major. Capt. Boren honors us frequently three times this 
week. He is one of our most agreeable guests. He leaves 
tomorrow for Shreveport. Report says he is soon to be mar- 
ried to Miss Mclntyre of Minden [La.]. Tommie Moore, 
Mollie's brother, is home from the army and comes over 
several times a week. He is a clever boy but not brilliant 
like his sister, who is one of the brightest women I ever knew, 
Lionel Levy, Mrs. Levy's son, who has just got back from 
the seat of war, came up and introduced himself the other 
day. He is a very intelligent boy. He talks very much like 
his mother and nearly as well, a real city-bred boy. Mollie 
Moore loaned us two new books which I read aloud and 
found trash Three Times Dead 31 and After Dark*' 2 

My Brother should be at Brokenburn today and Uncle Bo 
I suppose in Vicksburg. We heard from the boys. They will 
not get back for two weeks. 

Andy Johnson, the detested, is reported killed by Sherman. 
Since his amnesty proclamation, what a mockery on a name, 
he deserves killing. 

81 A novel by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, published in 1864. 
82 A novel by William Wilkie Collins, published in 1856. 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 353 

[" The Rest/' Tyler, Tex.] July 18: Mamma started this 
morning on another visit to the farm on the prairie. She may 
not return but may send for us to join her there. A letter 
from Jimmy said Mr. Smith wished to leave her employ as 
soon as he returns from Shreveport, and of course she must 
go up to straighten out the accounts with him. It is a dis- 
agreeable trip for business, and she dreaded it so. We hated 
to have her go, but it is unavoidable. We shall miss her so. 
I have plenty of work on hand to keep me busy. 

About all the gentlemen we know have gone. Mr. Pierson, 
the last, left yesterday for New Orleans. Well, Dr. McGregor 
is still here. Mrs. Tooke, Mrs. Levy, Mrs. Newton, and Mrs. 
Roane are refugees who still linger and we see them fre- 
quently. We have been riding frequently on horseback and 
in the carriage. Jimmy's horse, sent home on wounded fur- 
lough, is well at last, and I must try him now that the 
carriage and the loaned horses and owners are gone. 

More katydids are vociferating their news than I ever 

[" The Rest, Tyler, Tex.] July 18: 

flow tranquilly ike days 
Of Thalaba go by 

Only the quiet routine of home duties. Nothing from the 
outside world. Oh, for letters from sonic who have bidden 
us adieu to know what is going on and how they arc faring 
in their new life. 

Mrs. St. Clair and Neta Irvine came in and I tried to be 
unusually polite and noncommital to Mrs. St- Olair. She is 
such a dangerous woman that, I am afraid of her. She will 
start any report, and now she is most intimate with the 
Yankees and more to be feurod than ever. Old (Jen. Smith 
and Mr, Moore dined with us. Mr, Moore is the most bel- 
ligerent minister I ever saw and the hottest Southerner. He 
cannot reconcile himself to defeat. There are two Yankee 
cotton-buyers in town. They are very conciliating in man- 
ner, we hear, and dumb as to the war. 

Mollie Moore and I took a lovely ride this afternoon en- 


tirely alone but with pistols gleaming at our side. I fancy 
the good people of Tyler, the conservative, will be horrified 
if they saw them, but we will hope for the best and trust 
they did not spy our weapons. We took them more for a 
frolic than anything else, but the roads are said not to be 
entirely safe with so many hard cases roving around. Mollie 
and I were longing for a ride and good long gossip together, 
and all our cavaliers have left us. Mollie told me all about 
" Adonis " and confesses to a partial engagement, but she 
evidently does not expect to keep it. We decided that the 
girls would all have to change their war customs, stop flirting, 
and only engage themselves when they really meant some- 
thing. The days of lightly-won and lightly-held hearts should 

be over. 

Mr. Moore's accounts of the frolics of Willy and Jimmy 
Carson on their bachelor ranch worry me considerably. I am 
afraid they will get into serious trouble carrying on so with 
those country girls and will carry their flirtations too far, 
and they are but boys turned loose with no one out there 
to restrain them. Hope they will soon come in and I will 
talk to them. Might do some good. A man-flirt is detestable, 
and I do not want those boys to degenerate into that. 

We are living now on the fat of the land, plenty of milk, 
cream, butter, and gumbo, vegetables of all kinds, melons, 
and chickens. I am only sorry Mamma and the boys cannot 
be with us to enjoy it. The outer world is still a sealed book 
to us. Few mails. 

[" The Rest," Tyler, Tex.] July SO: Just finished a note 
to Willy Carson. I fear those boys are running riot, but a 
little experience will teach them much. Lionel Levy is a 
wonderfully good talker for a boy but too worldly wise for 
a boy of his age. I went with him to see Sally Grissman. 
They, like we, are waiting until the crops are gathered* 

Have been busy with my English and straw braiding. 
Uncle Johnny seems much harassed every evening from the 
confinement of teaching. He and Kate go early to their room 
and Sister and I are left alone. She is so much company for 
me. I generally rock Sally to sleep and sing all the songs I 

1866: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 355 

can think of. The war songs sicken me; the sound is like 
touching a new wound. I cannot bear to think of it all 
forget when I can. " All is Quiet Along the Potomac To- 
night/' 33 the quietness of death. It is best not to waken 
bitter memories by familiar heartfelt songs. 

[" The Rest/' Tyler, Tex.] Aug. 14: Mamma is out in the 
backyard directing the making of a barrel of wine from the 
native grapes which have ripened in the greatest profusion, 
hanging in great purple clusters over the blackjack oaks. 
They are brought into town by the wagonload. Both the 
boys and Sister are at the writing school where they stay 
all day, and I, being too lazy to sew and tired of Elia's 
quaint essays/ 1 must scribble for amusement. 

Mollie Moore sent us over a number of newspapers with 
full accounts of i he imprisonment of our beloved President 
Jefferson Davis. He pines in his captivity like a caged eagle. 3 " 
Heard directly from My Brother through Hutch Bowman, 
who stayed with us several days on his way to Kaufman 
County. \Vo may expect him about the last of the month. 
Mrs. Carson has been very ill. There is a great rush for the 
river lands. All arc anxious to secure a place above overflow. 

I was out in the country in company with, Mrs. Tooke on 
a visit to a friend of hers, Mollie Colt on, and missed seeing 
both Hutch Bownum and AI Lowry. They brought the news 
of Annie Amis' marriage to Will Murdoek, an officer in Gen. 
Marmadiikc's command. We had mutually agreed to wait 
on each other, and now I hear of her wedding only by acci- 
dent. I hope she has drawn a prisse in the great lottery. 
Nannie Dawson's death was a sad affair. Zou Morris and 
Lem Gustine are engaged. They have, known each other 
always and their marriage would be most suitable. 

Mrs. Tooke and I went twenty-five miles in the country 
to hold a consultation with Mollie Colton on the subject of 

8S Concerning the disputed authorship olf this extremely popular war 
song, see Harwell. Confederate Music, 80-83. 

"JEway* of Ella, by Charles Lamb (1775-1834). 

S5 Jefferson Davis was imprisoned At Fort Monroe, Vn. soon after he 
was arrested and was released on bail-bond of $100,000 on May 18, 
1807.-- Battles and leaders, IV, 700. 


her trousseau. I had never seen her but once and then for 
five minutes in the dusk, but she wrote and asked Mrs. 
Tooke to get me to select some dresses, cut them out, and 
say how they should be made. This was a heavy contract 
but of course, after being appointed head mantuamaker in 
this way, we had to take a deep interest in the arrangements. 
And Mamma and I bought and almost made an evening 
dress for her on Saturday. She is a nice girl and we had a 
pleasant visit out there. 

Jimmy and Willy Carson spent a pleasant week with us 
lately, and we gave them much good advice on the subject 
of flirting, which I hope they will lay to heart. Jimmy is an 
exceedingly handsome, attractive boy. Jimmy had made a 
pair of gloves of soft white buckskin and got me to em- 
broider the gauntlets for him in gay colored silks. They were 
really pretty if not fashionable, a word the meaning of which 
we have almost forgotten. 

Our boys are to go out to the Ranch as soon as their school 
closes next week. They are so improved in their writing. Dr. 
McGregor is still lingering. I do not think he knows where 
he wants to go and is somewhat dazed. I fancy he has no 
home people to welcome him back. Uncle Johnny has gone 
to Austin on business. 

These grey August days we have little to do and little 
company. Mollie Moore and her two brothers will be over 
this evening to play cards. Anna Meagher never comes to see 
us now. Another friendship broken without cause, but I hold 
Mrs. Savage responsible for it all. She stirred up all the 
strife, or rather ill-feeling. There has not been a cross word. 

Our melon patch is exhausted but melons in town are 
selling for ten cents a dozen. None should go unfed at that 
rate. Mrs. Tooke kindly furnishes us with plenty of peaches. 

Quite a number of Negroes are flocking into town, but 
there is no disorder. Occasionally we hear of a Negro shot 
down and lying unburied in the woods. 

[" The Rest," Tyler, Tex.] Aug 86: None of us can mus- 
ter the energy to go to hear Mr. Seaton's dry-as-dust dis- 
course this burning August day, and so we will wear the day 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 357 

away at home. We are looking for My Brother daily. Johnny 
is out at the Bachelor Ranch and was of! a week ago to 
Hockley, sixty miles away, hunting Mr. Drake and our 
wagons, and so we are very quiet. But tomorrow Johnny 
and the boys return, bringing all noise and nonsense in their 
train. Mr. Pierson returned bringing quite a number of new 
books to us and Mollie Moore, but to our disgust most of 
them are by Yankee authors and are unreadable trash. The 
only good ones are The Reign of Joseph the Second and a 
volume of Tennyson's lale poems. He brought a long letter 
to Mamma from Lt. Dupre, who says he is the happiest of 
happy men to be again with his family. Mollie Moore, Mr. 
Pierson, Johnny, and I rode out to Mrs. Tooke's one evening. 
Mr. Pierson brought Mrs. Tooke a letter from her brother, 
Gen. Buckner, who is staying quietly in New Orleans. A 
lovely ride and a gay card parly after tea. Mr. Pierson is up 
nearly every evening and is quite entertaining. All spent a 
charming day with Mrs. Levy recently and Mr. Pierson, 
Lionel, and Mollie came back to tea and cards. Lionel is the 
most worldly wise youth but improves as his mannerisms wear 
off. Tommie Moore has polished greatly since returning from 
the army. His sister is working on him, and they are all 
very adaptable. He is here every clay or two. Mollie Moore, 
Sally Grissman, and T are busy making ourselves palmetto 
caps and black bodices. The caps will soon be done and the 
bodices next week, and we expect to astonish the natives 
with our brave alt ire next Sunday. Mrs, Tooke is to give a 
small'party on September 5, and we are all as much excited 
over it as though it were the grand hall of a season. Mrs. 
Tooke has spent several days with us lately and notes come 
every two or three days. We all like her very much. We are 
particular of the party and invite whom we please. 

Uncle Johnny has returned, getting his clothes from Austin 
but nothing else. He re-opens his school in September. How 
we hope he will make a success of it. 

["The Rest," Tyler, Tex,] Rapt. & Just rested after our 
long, warm walk to church. Mollie and I appeared in all the 
glories of new caps and bodices, and pretty they arc. We 


think the caps would please the most exacting milliner and 
Olympi would be charmed with my velvet waist. Mamma 
and I have worked untiringly to finish them in time, and 
our labors were only completed at nine last night. We never 
worked harder in our lives, but the combination of white 
silk, velvet, and embroidery meets with unqualified approval. 
Mamma fashioned our caps after we made the braids, and 
I embroidered both waists, mine in bunches of blue flowers 
and Mollie's in pale pink roses. They are beauties. 

September is here but My Brother still tarries. Mamma 
is so impatient to be off that she will not wait many more 
days on him. She wishes to start everything to the prairie 
next Thursday, and so our pleasant Tyler life will be broken 
up forever and a day. I fear we will look back to this last 
year of our life in Texas with regret. The happiest year of 
my life. 

Jimmy came Thursday from Hockley but will return to- 
morrow and bring the wagons home. Company all the week. 
Mrs. Earl spent yesterday with us. We can certify as to the 
strength of the baby's lungs as he exercised them in scream- 
ing most of the time. Mrs. Roane and Capt. Smith called 
in the morning. He had even more than his usual nonsense 
to rattle off. I rather dread his presence at Mrs. Tooke's 
party, which has been postponed to the seventh. I hope he 
will be duly sober, if he devotes himself to my entertainment. 
Mr. Levy has come and Mrs. Levy brought him at once to 
see Mamma. Mamma cut a lot of patterns for Mrs. Levy, 
who is rather helpless on that subject and has a lot of little 
people to sew for. Lionel, Mollie Moore, and her brother are 
over frequently. 

Willy came in with Johnny and stayed a few days. All 
the boys went one afternoon to see the Irvine girls and 
teased them so that several of them were too angry to speak, 
and so for the present Johnny's favorite resort is closed to 
him. He says he has been " turned out of the Lodge.*' 

["Rescue Hut/' Hopkins Co. [?], Tex.] Sept. 11: Here 
we are " Lost and far on the prairie wide/' wearing away the 
time as best we may for two days and nights in a real prairie 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 359 

hut awaiting relief from our place, thirty miles away. The 
carriage stands in the yard with a crushed wheel, and we are 
mired up in all sorts of dirt and discomfort in the middle of 
the wildest prairie with not a tree or a house in sight. We 
broke down two miles from here journeying on our way to 
Lamar County with nothing in sight but the broad sweep of 
the prairie and one lonely tree. We made our way to that. 
No gentleman with us, no money, no possible way of getting 
on, and in a great hurry. We were in despair. Richard 
mounted a mule and scoured the country to find a carriage, 
wagon, or wheel to take us on, while we with parasols, books, 
and cushions, betook ourselves to the grateful shade of the 
tree to await his return. I was fast asleep in the tall grass, 
and Mamma and Sister were dozing when Richard got back. 
He could not iintl any conveyance, but a lady two miles 
away would give us shelter. Ho there we were in for a two- 
mile walk under the burning sun and over the shadowiest 
prairie with a wind blowing hot as a .sirocco of the desert. 
The prospect was appalling, and I foolishly burst into tears. 
Mamma scolded. I remonstrated. But soon we cooled down 
in temper., if not in person, and commenced our weary jaunt 
to shelter. 

It is the roughest two-room affair with six or eight people 
living in it, ami with nothing to oat this last day but bread 
and milk and butter. They killed their last chicken for us 
yesterday, an old, old hen, but the people are as kind as they 
can be, and as hospilnblo. They give us of their best and are 
really sorry for us. There arc two women and a girl and not 
a scrap of ribbon or law or any kind of adornment in the 
house. I never saw a woman before without u ribbon. They 
have not even a comb, They are the very poorest people I 
ever saw. 

We, that is Mamma, Sister, Johnny, awl I, broke up our 
establishment and started on short notice from Tyler on last 
Friday, and our entire trip has been a chapter of accidents 
since. A wheel crushed four miles from town,, and after 
spending most, of the day in the woods we returned very 
reluctantly to Tyler, We had gone the rounds the evening 


before making farewell calls and hated to return after so 
many solemn leavetakings, but go back we must. 

The room is filling with the family so must close my book. 

The bugs are awful, and so we three slept last night on 
the carriage cushions and a bolt of domestic out on the front 
gallery, much against the wishes of our hosts who seemed to 
think it inhospitable to allow it. But it is impossible to sleep 
in the rooms with four or five untidy folks, being bled from 
every pore by the voracious bugs. The natives do not even 
toss in their sleep from them. They do not know the bugs 
are there. 

A glorious full moon, light enough to read by, and a pleas- 
ant breeze. We quite enjoyed our outdoor bunk, especially 
as we had not slept for two nights. Oh, the happy summer 
days of our life in Tyler. By our hurried departure we 
missed seeing again Col. Cochran, Capt. Wylie, Hutch Bow- 
man, and several others who were to be there next week. And 
all this discomfort would have been spared us if My Brother 
had only come out when Joe did and made this trip to the 
farm in Mamma's place. Poor Mamma, what a weight of 
responsibility and trouble she has had on her hands, not only 
her own family but Uncle Johnny's, and Uncle Johnny has 
been so trying and Kate so silly. 

They say tears are quite useless 
To undo, amend, or restore; 
When I think how useless, my darling, 
My tears only jail the more. 

Jimmy started to Hockley Saturday, the day we finally left 
Tyler, Baking the carriage mules and our driver, Thomas, 
with him. Mamma borrowed a mule from Dr. Meagher and 
trusted Richard to drive. He knows little about it and one 
accident follows another. First, the mule has given out and 
we are only anxious to get him home before worse happens. 
The tongue broke and then one wheel after another. Every- 
thing has gone wrong. We had only one day to prepare and 
bid our friends adieu. Mrs. Lawrence sent us a splendid 
cake for our journey. They were kind all the time. It was 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 361 

hard to tell so many friends good-bye, and we sha,ll never 
see them again. Tommie Moore went on to Houston with 
Jimmy. Out to seek his fortune he says. I hated to leave 
Mollie Moore most of all. We are dear friends. Poor Mrs. 
Tooke seems so desolate, not knowing what to do. We hope 
Gen. Buckner will soon come and take charge of her. The 
party at her house Wednesday passed pleasantly, a large 
cavalcade from our house going. We packed next day. Dear 
little Sally and Elise will miss us. They were great pets. 

Mollie Moore gave me a pretty copy of The Lady oj the 
Lake as a souvenir of our happy friendship. Shall I ever see 
her cheerful face again? 

Jimmy and Willy Carson spent the last week with the 
boys. They will start for Louisiana in late October. Jimmy 
Carson cut out a beautiful pair of gloves for me from Willy's 
fawn skin, and I have been sewing on them while journeying 
along in the carriage. 

["Vexation," Lamar County, Tex.] Sept. 21: Mamma went 
to Paris this morning on business (hateful word) . Sister is 
roaming over the place at her own sweet will, and Mrs. Smith 
is deep in the mysteries of a bodice which she is intent on 
making exactly like mine. We reached this haven a week 
ago. Shall we ever forget that forty-mile jolt in a four-mule 
wagon, the mules at full trot? We made it in a clay over a 
broken, sorry prairie with nothing to eat but dried peaches, 
uncooked, soggy biscuits, and warm, sulty-tasling well water. 
We were bruised black and blue ami were too tired to sleep 
or eat the first ni#ht. We did not find out until nearly night 
that the wagon floor was much easier than the chairs we 
were perched in, and we all crouched down in the straw, loo 
worn out to hold up our heads. 

The people who had sheltered us utterly refused all pay 
and were hurt at the idea and they with absolutely nothing. 
Truly it is not the rich who are the most generous! Mamma 
will send them lots of things when she sends for the carriage, 

8 *Molli Moore Davis, after many Muwrotfiil yearn an author and 
social leader died, in New Orleaiut, January l % 1901). There IH no record 
that they ever saw each other again or corresponded. 


We found nearly all the Negroes in a state of insubordina- 
tion, insolent and refusing to work. Mamma had a good deal 
of trouble with them for a few days. Now they have quieted 
down and most of those who left have returned, and they are 
doing as well as " freedmen " ever will, I suppose. We were 
really afraid to stay on the place for the first two days. We 
are looking for the boys up from Tyler and for Jimmy and 
My Brother next week. Then, Ho, for Louisiana! 

We have all the butter, milk, and curd that Mamma 
promised us with wild plums, maypops, and apples in abund- 
ance, and Mrs. Smith is a good housekeeper. But it is un- 
deniably a dull spot. 

Mr. Kennedy, a neighbor, has given us a beautiful little 
lap dog. I think it will be Sister's as she loves pets so. 
Mamma has promised me a fine horse, and then I shall be 
ready for the start home. Johnny suggested " Grant Grim " 
as a name for the little doggy; Sister suggested a Emile 
Dupre " (Lt. Dupre was a great favorite with her) ; Mamma 
suggested " Josefa " or " Holmes "; and I, <fc King Arthur." 

I am embroidering a Zouave jacket in blue cashmere for 
one of Mrs. Kennedy's little girls. Will embroider a wreath 
of pale pink roses on it. It is the only embroidery silk I have, 
and the combination is prettier than one would think. Have 
embroidered scarlet fuchsias on Mrs. Smith's bodice. 

Johnny has taken Mr. Smith's place as overseer. The 
Negroes mind him better. 

[" Vexation," Lamar County, Tex.] Oct. 10: Jimmy and 
My Brother joined us about ten days ago, and we have never 
passed ten more unhappy days. Our future is appalling 
no money, no credit, heavily in debt, and an overflowed place. 
No wonder Mamma is so discouraged. Since My Brother's 
return, we have all had the blues and look forward with 
dread to our return to Louisiana. But there is nothing else 
to do. Nothing for us here. Mamma, Sister, and I, with 
Johnny or Jimmy, will get off early next week, going straight 
on, while My Brother will bring the Negroes back. The 
countrabands are all crazy to return to Louisiana, as soon 
as they realized that My Brother did not wish to take them, 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 363 

and are on their best behavior. What a treacherous race they 
are! I doubt whether one will remain with us a week after 
we return. 

The name " Vexation " we have given this place is most 
appropriate. It has been a most trying job settling up the 
business, and My Brother and Mr. Smith say everyone they 
have had dealings with has not only tried but succeeded in 
cheating them. We are in all the stir and disagreeable con- 
fusion of moving, yet preparations to get off advance but 
slowly, though all four of the menfolks are doing their best 
to expedite our departure. We have to send such a distance 
for everything we need. 

It seems an ill-ad vised move to take the Negroes back 
unless they could he bound by some contract to remain on 
the place, and thai is impossible. It- is so expensive and 
troublesome to move about eighty or ninety Negroes such a 
distance. Two families are to remain. Warren's is one. Mr* 
Smith will stay here and try to work this same place, we 
suppose. Jimmy goes to Tyler this week and will join us 
somewhere on the road. Wo will camp out just as we did 
when we eame to Texas but will have a more comfortable 
vehicle and a more careful driver, Mamma left nearly all of 
our household furnishings with Uncle Johnny and Kate. 
They are quite comfortable and he has a good school. I do 
hope they will get on in life. We do miss the dear little 
folks, Sally and Kline. 

Mamma and Mrs* Smith are away today visiting the 
dentist at Ladonia, the boys are off on business, and so 
Sister and t have the house to ourselves. It is delightful to 
be alone sometimes, a pleasure we have rarely enjoyed since 
we left Brokenhurn. We have lived in erowded quarters all 
the time. I shall he glad to get lo the solitude of my own 
room at Brokenhurn* even if it will he hut sparsely furnished* 
My Brother says all our furniture lias heen divided out 
among the Negroes and Yankees. How exceedingly quiet 
he is. Rarely talks at all. He was never very fluent and 
being in the unity has intensified his silence and reserve, and 
he seems to take little interest in hearing others. Wo hope 


home life will brighten him up and make him more cheerful. 
He feels the bitterness of defeat more than anyone we have 
met. He cannot reconcile himself to give up everything but 

Annie Amis is not yet married but will be soon. Emmett 
Amis is to be married on the twenty-fifth of this month to 
that fascinating little widow at Oak Ridge. He was devoting 
himself to her when we were at Mrs. Templeton's. Neither 
Rose nor Mol Green have married Yankees or anyone else. 
What stories we do hear. 

Our trip will probably take a month. The weather is 
lovely, and we hope to get home over good roads and to 
arrive before the fall rains set in. A sad journey to the old 

[Brokenburn] Nov. 16: At home again but so many, 
many changes in two years. It does not seem the same place. 
The bare echoing rooms, the neglect and defacement of all 
though the place is in better repair than most and the 
stately oaks and the green grass make it look pleasant and 
cheerful, though gardens, orchards, and fences are mostly 
swept away. But if the loved ones who passed through its 
doors could be with us again, we might be happy yet. But 
never, never, never more echoes back to our hearts like a 
funeral knell at every thought of the happy past. We must 
bear our losses as best we can. Nothing is left but to endure. 

We have been at home five days now. We found Other 
Pa awaiting us. It is the first time we have seen him in 
three years. He stayed only a few days and is much de- 
pressed. He still lives near Hamburg, Ark., on a small cotton 
place. He went on to Vicksburg. My Brother got in yester- 
day with his train, making the trip almost as rapidly as 
we did. 

Mamma and Johnny went yesterday to Vicksburg. Mam- 
ma hopes to make arrangements for planting next year and 
will buy indispensable housekeeping articles and replenish 
our wardrobes, now sadly in need, if she can get the money. 

We have by dint of much scrubbing and little furniture 
made the east room habitable. Mamma, Sister, and I occupy 
that. So vividly it brings back the memory of dear Aunt 

1865: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 365 

Laura and little Beverly that I start at the slightest noise 
and almost fancy I can see them. Jimmy joined us at Shreve- 
port and brought the intelligence of little Elise's death, poor, 
frail little flower. No one could look at her tiny white face 
and fancy her long for the world. She was a dear good baby. 

How still and lifeless everything seems. How I fear that 
the life at Tyler has spoiled us for plantation life. Every- 
thing seems sadly out of time. But no thoughts like these. 
We must be brave, raid to give way to the " blues " now is 
cowardly. We should be Mark Tapleys. 37 We think we shall 
be able to pick up enough of our furniture scattered through 
the country to make two or throe rooms habitable and that 
must suffice us until better. 

I was just interrupted by a call from Anna Meagher at the 
gate. They are just making their way home from Texas and 
had to come by way of Richmond to avoid Tensas Swamp. 
We spent two days and a night getting through there, and 
then broke down and had to ride the last seven miles on horse 
or rather muleback. We met Miss Bet tie Carter, Mr. Kaiser, 
and two of the Carson boys just as we mounted the mules 
to come through. 

[BrokenburnJ Xtw. 17: My Brother ami Jimmy are off 
hunting, fishing, and spying out, I he land. Little Sister is 
absorbed in papers a month old, and I, having made my 
afternoon toilet a habit of old that I may as well forget 
now that evening visiting is u thing of I lie past have liter- 
ally nothing to do and nothing to read except Shakespeare, 
and one cannot read him all the time. We certainly conned 
that book in Texas and OH our various carriage trips. Mam- 
ma and Johnny should nearly know it by heart* There is no 
resort but scribbling. How many idle hours this book hag 

Uncle Boh is the best old darkie. He has done the best 
he could to care for things and is as humble and respectful 
as^ever. Every now and I lien he brings up presents of candy, 
raisins, and nuts. Aunt Laura Vf silver service was buried in 

57 Mark Tapfry, a ohttwrU'r in Sharks DidkeiM' Martin tftftim 
as perennially chwrful, dwpitc th moat unfavorable circumstances. 


the yard, and Uncle Bob in walking one day stepped into a 
hole. He investigated and found the barrel head had decayed 
and sunken in. He did not say anything as the^ Yankees were 
on the place at the time. He quickly covered it up and that 
night slipped out and took it to his house, carefully hiding 
it, but it became noised about among the Negroes and a few 
spoons were stolen. I suppose his wife, Mary Ann, told as 
she is the real typical free darkie. The next day he packed 
the silver all up and took it down to Mrs. Graves to keep. 
He said he could no longer care for it, and now we have it all. 
He is the only Negro we know that would not at once on 
finding it have given or sold it to the darkies. He wants to 
rent some of the land and plant for himself next year. Mam- 
ma will let him have the land rent free. He sold his last 
cotton for $1 a pound. I wish we had a thousand bales. 

Mamma should be back today. I wonder what she will 
bring us. We bought our first piece of Yankee finery in 
Shreveport, a broad black belt with an immense buckle 
for me. 

In camping out this trip, we had every appliance for camp- 
ing, and people who like camping would have found it 
pleasant. We enjoyed most stopping with our friends on the 
road. First were Mrs. Scott and Amelia, now Mrs. Dr. Bass. 
They are living quite out of the world at Winnsboro [Tex.], 
the very poorest land one ever saw. They will remain there 
a year longer. Amelia is perfectly happy and Mrs. Scott, 
equally miserable, cannot bear the country. 

Shreveport was our next place of sojourn. Spent twenty- 
four hours at Capt. Buckner's with Mrs. Gustine and Ella. 
Mary's baby is a pretty, black-eyed little creature. Shreve- 
port seemed nearly as busy a place as New Orleans in the old 
times. Went on from there to Maj. Bryan's near Minden and 
stayed twenty-four hours. They begged us to spend a month. 
They live delightfully in a splendid house beautifully fur- 
nished, and though they refugeed near Tyler where we met 
them, the Yankees never went to the place. They saved 
everything and still have the same house servants. (En 
passant, I do not think our servants will stay about the house 
much longer.) Our next stop with friends was at Mrs. Wad- 

1866: " THE DARKEST HOUR " 367 

ley's. We were there one night and found them in all the 
bustle of preparing to move to Savannah, Ga., where they 
will make their home. We were sorry to see them going so 
far away where they will never be able to pay us the promised 
visits. They are dear friends and wonderfully good to us. 
Most of their servants were gone, and the girls were having 
to do the work. Took dinner the next day at Mrs. Scale's. 
They are kind but some way tiresome. From there to Judge 
N. Richardson's, the prettiest place on Bayou DcSaird. How 
more than comfortably they live in that stately comfortable 
home with the beautiful yard with its trees and shrubbery, 
splendid orchard, and well-worked garden, and with all the 
old servants and the most lavish table. Mrs. Richardson is 
a most excellent housekeeper. We quite felt like spending 
the week with her as she urged us to do. The Yankees had 
not disturbed their possessions in Ihcir two raids on Monroe. 
Lt. 3 or Mr. Holmes now, came out twice lo sec us while we 
were there. He is looking handsome and was beautifully 
dressed. But alas, he has been spending a wild summer and 
fall, and though he assured me marrying would reform him, 
I believe not, A dreadful risk for any woman. I fear there is 
little hope for him. Ho expects lo #o lo Maryland soon on 
a visit to his mother. That may save him." 8 

We had the pleasure of spending a night at Col. Temple- 
ton's. They are safely at homo and most comfortable as 
they saved all their household furnishings. They were very 
cordial and charmed to see us. They promised to pay us a 
visit when the roads arc passable again. Then we spent a 
night in the very depths of the swamp, mud in every direc- 
tion and our first very heavy frost like a snow and real cold 
in the tent. Next day home. I so wanted to come by Homer 
and see Annie Amis before her marriage and the other friends 
still there, but Mamma thought best to push on. 

88 Kate hcsraelf ** aved " him, of couwe-. They wore married lour 
years later. He later operated a plantation in Ounchiia. Parish called 
Rattlesnake Uidge, and wtw known as *' the Duke of Rattlesnake Ridge/* 
Afterwards lit* wn.s .sheriff of Madison Pariah from 188 i until 188H and in 
credited with being the leader in the transfer of public rccordx from 
Delta to Tallulah on March , 1B8, thereby making Tallulah " by 
right s 0f ix>Ht*c*uiion " the aeut of govTntnent for MadLson Portah, lies 
died in Tallulah, surviving his wife by several years. 


"The burden of defeat" 

[Brokenburn] Sept. 22: A long silence and a year of hard 
endeavor to raise a crop, reconstruct the place with the 
problem of hired labor, high water, and cotton worms. Mam- 
ma had little trouble in getting advances in New Orleans to 
plant. Cotton is so high that merchants are anxious to ad- 
vance to put in a crop, and there is much Northern capital 
seeking investment in that field. Mr. Given became Mam- 
ma's merchant. Col. Cornelius Fellowes, her old friend, has 
not resumed business, or only in a small way. The Negroes 
demanded high wages, from $20 to $25 for men, in addition 
to the old rations of sugar, rice, tobacco, molasses, and some- 
times hams. Many of the old hands left, and My Brother 
went to New Orleans and brought back a number of ex- 
Negro soldiers, who strutted around in their uniforms and 
were hard to control. I was deadly afraid of them. During 
the spring while Mamma and I were in New Orleans (Mam- 
ma on business and she took me for my pleasure) , and 
Uncle Bo and My Brother and Jimmy were away for a few 
hours, Johnny had a fight with a young Negro in the field, 
shot and came near killing him, and was mobbed in return. 
Johnny would have been killed but for the stand one of the 
Negroes made for him and Uncle Bo's opportune arrival just 
as the Negroes brought him to the house a howling, cursing 
mob with the women shrieking, " Kill him! " and all brand- 
ishing pistols and guns. It came near breaking up the plant- 
ing, and it is a pity it did not as it turned out. Johnny had 
to be sent away. He was at school near Clinton [Miss.] and 
the Negroes quieted down and after some weeks the wounded 
boy recovered, greatly to Johnny's relief. He never speaks 


1867: " THE BURDEN OF DEFEAT " 369 

now of killing people as he formerly had a habit of doing. He 
came home when school closed and there was no further 

Then the water came up and we were nearly overflowed. 
The cotton planted was very late, and when it was looking 
as luxuriant and promising as possible and we saw ease of 
mind before us, the worms came. In a few days the fields 
were blackened like fire had swept over them. We made 
about twenty bales and spent $25,000 doing it. What most 
distresses me is that none of that money went for our per- 
sonal comfort. All of it went to the Negroes. Mamma would 
buy only bare necessaries for the table and plainest clothes 
for the family. Not a luxury, no furniture, carpets, or any- 
thing. We are worse off for those things than even in Texas 
and such a sum spent! But Mamma said it was not honest 
to spend the money on anything but making the crop. All 
in this section have suffered in the same way, and for awhile 
they seemed stunned by their misfortunes. But now the 
reaction has come, and all are taking what pleasure offers. 

Old neighbors and new ones have come in and all seemed 
to be anxious to be together and talk over their trials and 
tribulations. There has been much visiting and various 
picnics and fish frys. I would not go at first. I felt like I 
did not want to see anybody or ever dance again. I felt 
fully forty years old, but Mamma made me go after a good 
cry. Once there, I was compelled to exert myself, and soon 
I was enjoying it all. The burden of some of the years slipped 
from my shoulders, and I was young again. It was pleasant 
to talk nonsense, lo be flattered i hough one knew it was 
flattery, and to be complimented and fussed over. So since 
then, Mamma, the boys, and all of us have been going to 
everything and have found even poverty in company more 
bearable than when suffered alone. 

About this time we formed several pleasant acquaintances, 
Mrs. Winn and I lie Bytuim girls all of them have changed 
their names now, Mrs. Keenc Richards, Mrs, Dr. Buekncr, 
and Mrs, Bowciiu Keenc. We met of I en hut never progressed 
beyond acquaint unocship. Dr. Gaither has been a gay amus- 


ing acquaintance, and I find entertainment in Dr. Ellis 
" Cousin Orin," as he claims to be. He is distantly related 
but the others do not much like him. The Nutt family we 
found the most pleasant of all, and they added most to our 
entertainment. Such bright, intelligent women. We visited 
and received them frequently, and they were just as kind as 
they could be. We were great friends for some months. But 
they talked too freely and too emphatically, and My Brother 
put his veto on our going there again. He would not allow it, 
and so we had to lose those friends. We regretted it so and 
could never explain what to them could only seem heartless 
caprice. They had been unvaryingly kind and polite to us, 
and how I hated to make such a return. It had one happy 
effect. It put a stop to Mr. DeWeese's visits. A Yankee 
living with the Nutts and the most unblushingly unprincipled 
man in the world, he seemingly has no conception of right 
and wrong. 

All the gaiety has been in the Omega neighborhood. Good- 
rich's is as solemn as ever. The festivities wound up that 
winter with a grand ball given by the young men at Villa 
Vista. A most charming time. I never enjoyed an evening, 
or rather night, so much in my life. It was quite sunup when 
we got to Mrs. Nutt's where we stayed until evening, when 
Mamma went home and I went to Mrs. Whin's, then living 
on part of Dutchly plantation. Stayed there several days 
helping Missie in her wedding preparations. She married 
Capt. Buckner of Shreveport, and a party of us went as 
far as Vicksburg with them on the boat. 1 We missed the 
return boat and had to stay all night. Went up to see Aunt 
Sally for the first time in several years, but had to return 
to the hotel to stay with the Morris girls. All spent next day 
with Aunt Sarah. Dr. Gaither was a delightful escort. Uncle 
Bo, who is staying in Vicksburg now, went around with us. 
Saw Jimmy who had gone down a few weeks previously to 
study medicine at the hospital. 

I had been to Vicksburg once before in the fall before Aunt 

1 Mississippi (Missie) Morris married R. T. Buckner. In 1887 she 
published a novel, Toward the Gulj. Library of Southern Literature, 
XV, 62. 

1867: "THE BURDEN OF DEFEAT' 9 371 

Sarah's return from Bladen Springs. Dr. Buckner and My 
Brother, Mrs. Winn, Carrie and Emily Bynum Dr. Buckner 
was " doing the devoted " to Emily and My Brother to 
Carrie enjoyed all the delicacies of the season. Mrs. Winn 
and I, having no lovers on hand, enjoyed a nice time going 
around together. If My Brother had only had money, we 
fancy Carrie would have been a member of our family by 
now. She is pretty, gay, and attractive, but her mother an- 
nounced to everybody her daughters would marry only rich 
men, which now by 1867 they have all done. They were great 
belles in the neighborhood for a time. 

The last day of 1860 Johnny and I went to Vicksburg, he 
on his way to school at Oxford [Miss.] and I to make Aunt 
Sarah a visit. A heavy snow fell that night, but we reached 
Vicksburg in time for New Year's calls, a custom introduced 
there within the last two years. Had a lovely visit of a 
month. Mr, Miller and I had buried the halchcl, and when 
he came to sec me in the fall when T was in Vicksburg, he 
was as nice and entertaining as he had formerly been detest- 
able. Went out constantly to parties and theatre and had 
much company. Dr. Gaither came down for a week in town, 
and as he nearly lived at Aunt Sarah's we had a gay time. 
Aunt Sarah liked him very much, all but his way of parting 
his hair in I he middle with brown curls crisping all over his 
head. He is very handsome, I all, blond, well-educated, grace- 
ful and accomplished draws well, plays, sings, and writes 
amusingly. lie went up the river to live that winter. His 
letters are excellent. 

I came home and we all remained quietly hidden in the 
swamp until April when " t he waters rose, the waters swelled " 
lo the height of about four feet in the yard. It was creeping 
into the house when we moved out bag and baggage to Mr. 
Goodrich 's, and after a time rented part of Wilton, where 
Col. Chambliss' family were living. We stayed there until 
August and came home to find Zl looking so green, cool, and 
quiet. The grass was a fool high in the yard, and all was 
looking as fresh and sweet as a fair May clay, 3V ly Brother 
made desperate exertions all spring in company with Maj. 


James, who rented the Winn Forest place, and other planters 
to keep the Harris levee from breaking. Finding it impos- 
sible, he rented land from Mrs. Henderson, and when the 
levee broke, he went there to live. The three weeks spent 
at Mr. Goodrich's were delightful to us. They did every- 
thing for our comfort and pleasure and begged us to stay 
until we could return home. Mrs. Carson came down nearly 
every day, but it was long before Mamma would go there. 
She begged us to stay with her until the water fell, as if we 
would after her long coolness. Still, it was kind of her. As a 
peace offering to me, she brought over one of the inevitable 
young preachers to call Mr. McConnell, a real flirtatious 
young preacher and quite entertaining. We saw much of him 
all summer. Everybody was good to us. Nearly every family 
in the neighborhood asked us to stay with them until the 
falling of the waters. 

We settled at Wilton, Col. Chambliss keeping the lower 
story and giving us the second. As it is a large delightful 
house with two kitchens we kept house pleasantly and had 
much company. How kind that family were to us and how 
funny, and what a beauty Janie, the daughter of the house, 
is. How comical Miss Kate and Miss Tia, cousins visiting 
them, and oh, what a pair Mr. and Mrs. Chambliss. Alto- 
gether being intimate with the family was better than going 
to a play, and very intimate they would be spending hours 
in our rooms. Those were charming, funny months we spent 
there, with everything at home going to rack and ruin: the 
place under water, the mules with glanders My Brother had 
sixteen shot one day and the Negroes dying of cholera and 
instead of taking the doctor's remedies eating green figs and 
salt, collapsing in a few hours. 

We had many visitors: the Bynums, now living at Transyl- 
vania with Mrs. Richards, the Keenes Mary Keene such a 
nice girl and to think she married a Yankee Mrs. Carson, 
Goodrichs, Emily, the Newmans, and all the gentlemen 
around, principally Mr. McConnell, Mr. Valentine the 
Valentines were more deeply overflowed even than we Mr. 
Rhotan, and the fun we had with Capt. Porter in the house, 
a guest of the Chambliss'. 

1867: " THE BURDEN OF DEFEAT " 373 

After going home and after getting all in working order 
about the house we generally managed lo keep a cook as 
that is new and disagreeable work to us all our principal 
amusement was pecan hunting, as there were such quantities. 
The two Mr. Valentines were often with us. Nothing to do 
on their place, and they were lonely. Mrs. Goodrich made 
us one visit, her first and last visit to us, for in a few days 
she was taken ill with yellow fever and died within the week. 
I was with her most of tho time. She had seemed very fond 
of me and sent out begging me to come when she found she 
was ill enough for a nurse. We sincerely regretted her death. 
She was a good, conscientious woman and her life not a 
happy one. Six or eight people died around (loodriclf s with 
yellow fever that season. We fortunately escaped that 
trouble, though Mamma's health has nol been good since 
the first summer we came home. It makes us very anxious 
to see her ill so frequently. Jimmy had eomo home just be- 
fore the yellow fever broke out at Vicksburg and quarantine 
was established* He regretted .so much not remaining, but 
we were so thankful to have him at home out of danger. We 
formed Mrs. Meux's acquaintance during I he summer. The 
Doctor and she were in Nevada until after the close of the 
war returning by way of Panama. An odd person she is and 
a funny pair they are. Hut we are all devoted to Dr. Meux, 
even with his funny ways. 

My Brother used to come to Wilton every Sunday to see 
us, and Mr. Rhotun frequently came with him. This was 
sufficient to start the report that we were engaged. The poor 
fellow was innocent of all intentions, only "thinking Mis 
Kate a nice young lady/' which I think he really does believe. 
Anyway, lxing a bashful six feel, four inches of mortality, 
the report seared him away, and only recently has he com- 
mcnoed visiting us again. 

Mr. Rhotun and I became quite chummy when I went to 
slay a week or ten days with Mrs, Henderson after Mr, Hen- 
derson's death. We thought her so desolate and alone until 
her sister, Mrs. Prentice, came to stay with her two lonely, 
elderly widows, Mr* Hhotan is very easy to talk to. He 


does not say much himself but looks so appreciative and 
entertained, while Mr. Reigart is just impossible to talk to. 
He looks utterly bored and indifferent, no matter what the 
subject. I always dread to see him come. Fortunately his 
visits to us are rare. Capt. Louis Guyon came to see My 
Brother this summer, and I believe I like him better than 
anyone who came to the house. He is an old schoolmate of 
My Brother's at Frankfort, Ky. He has captivated me 
" entirely entirely/ 3 He is so quick, sprightly, and ugly 
and a sugar planter. It was always my ambition to marry a 
sugar planter. If he comes this fall, we will see if he improves 
on acquaintance. 


"%e outlook is 

[Rose Hill] Sept. ?: In January My Brother rented this 
place knowing that Brokenburn would be again overflowed, 
and we moved out the latter part of the month. My Brother 
lost money again last year planting, and this year he de- 
termined to farm, planting a little of everything. Johnny and 
Jimmy are both at, home, and having nothing lo do pulled 
off their coats and rolled up their sleeves and went to work 
to raise a crop of corn and potatoes for themselves. They 
have succeeded well as they will clear several hundred dol- 
lars. We all regret so much Jimmy's refusal to go buck to 
the hospital. lie seems cut out for a doctor, and the physi- 
cians at, the hospital say he has a decided touch for it. All 
urge him to go back, but because 1 he* will have lo be depen- 
dent on My Brother for awhile he will not study medicine 
any longer. We fear he is throwing away the best chance 
of his life. The boys are so hot and tired when they come in 
from the fields. 

Dr. Kllus sent us Cometh f f /> us a Flower by u new author 
and it is very entertaining so far. 1 

[Hose Hillf jSVp/. W W: Mother has been in Vicksburg for 
a month on u visit to Aunt Sarah. It is her first outing for 
eighteen months. We o hope it will benefit her an her health 
has been bad for more than a year* Hhe is seldom out of bed 
more than a week at u time. It took great persuasion and 
the pointed urging of the whole family to induce her to go 
on this visit that Aunt Sanih has been begging her lo wtike 
for mouths. 

in !87 tin* iirM, of eighteen |wj>ukr snivel* by 
Itamfihton (1 840- 1940). 



Jimmy is now on the wharf boat, Johnny at Omega, and 
Sister, My Brother, and I have it all our own way with but 
little to do. My Brother is making an excellent crop and is 
much more cheerful. 

Just heard of Sallie Newman's marriage to Mr. Marshall 
Collier. He has been devoting himself to her for eight long 
years, and she gave up the fight at last. She is a classmate of 
mine from Warren County and has been quite a belle, though 
she is a very bright girl. Sister and I are hammering away 
at translating one of Victor Hugo's stories. How we wish 
Sister could be sent off to school for two years, but it has 
been impossible. No money. It seems on our steps " un- 
merciful disaster has followed fast and followed faster " for 
years. Let us hope that now the current will change and 
success will be our portion, as the outlook is brighter than 
for three years. 

This is a pleasant neighborhood, just across the road from 
Maj. Morancy's, and everybody has been kind and polite 
about calling and coming in at all times. Hermie Davenport 
is a pleasant acquaintance of the summer, staying with Sirs. 
Meagher with her mother. She is a most unworldly girl of 
strong affections. She has been with us for a few days lately. 
We all went down to Judge Brynes' to see her off on the 
Rubicon on her way to Chicot, Ark., where she is to teach. 
The boat not coming, we all adjourned to Judge Brynes 1 and 
had another of those inevitable dances that have been given 
so often this summer. Mary and Katie Byrnes, Louise Meag- 
her, and the other girls never seem to tire of them, but they 
wear me out such a sameness. I doubt not that I am getting 
too old for such gaieties. The men and boys about here are 
so silly and boyish in conversation. 

Mr. Valentine came the day Mamma left and spent two 
weeks. We carried him around to see everybody. Sister and 
he are still great cronies. It has been an enjoyable life since 
we came here in January. It is a pleasant enough cottage 
house, after we got it thoroughly cleaned. There is a lovely 
little flower yard and a splendid orchard, and the kindest 
and most sociable neighbors with various little entertain- 
ments and dances. 


A perfect trip by a large party of us to Greenville [Miss.] 
in June on the Allen, Capt. White's boat, Mamma chaperon- 
ing the party. The Morris girls were on coming up from 
New Orleans, Dr. Gaither joined us at Greenville, and they 
came back and spent a lovely week with us. Dr. Gaither is 
a charming friend and his letters are excellent. We have new 
books and papers ad libitum, a luxury we missed for years. 

My Brother has just sent Mamma money to buy our 
winter clothes, and Sister and I are jubilant at the prospect 
of new dresses and bonnets. We have lived on very little of 
late years, little bought that was not absolutely necessary. 
They have dressed me better than any of the others. I have 
not wanted for anything indispensable for a young lady, but 
the only money I have spent really as I wished was five 
dollars of the ten Uncle Bob gave me when Mamma and I 
went to New Orleans three winters ago. 

Uncle Bo lived willi us the first year after we came back* 
The next year he lounged away in Vicksburg. This year lie 
is otit in Hinds Counly working with his hands and writes 
most cheerfully, lie says he is doing well and is coining to 
see us Christmas. So we take heart for him and hope he has 
turned over a new page. 

What splendid fellows my brothers are. They are all so 
good to us and such handsome boys. Sister looks almost the 
same, scarcely older than three years ago. We hope she can 
go to school this fall and make her debut next fall. If not, I 
shall beg Mamma to put long dresses and a, waterfall [chig- 
non] on her and bring her out this winter. She has a gay 
cheerful nature, and I hope will have a happy girlhood. 

Mamma's bright hopeful spirit never change. She is us 
always the ruling power with us all, the center and light of 
our home. How much she will have to tell us on her return, 
and maybe Aunt Sarah will come with her. 

Well, this us the last page of the hook that luus gone with 
me through all our journeying^ Looking hack to the begin- 
ning so many years ago, I realise what an unthankful, wicked 
girl I was not to be .supremely happy. With youth, health, 
and everything surrounding me for comfort and happinas. 


with unmistakable blessings, I was yet an unsatisfied, dis- 
contented girl. It has taken trouble to teach me my faults, 
and how earnestly I try now to enjoy instead of repine, to be 
thankful instead of fault-finding. I will try always to see the 
silver lining to the cloud. All my life I have been surrounded 
with love and care, far more than I deserved, and I will try 
in the future to be more worthy of the blessings that brighten 
my pathway. 

So this is the end shall I ever care to write again? 



Abercrombie, Mr, 21 
Airlie Plantation, 15 
Alabama, 92n , 100 and n , 9 
Alexander, Lt , 292, 3-20, 328 
Alexander, Mr., 3U- 
Alexander, Mis. Maij, 21U 
Alexander, Mrs, 4*, 50, 120, 152. 153, 

196, 197, 290, 318, 3*20, 32*2, 327 
Alexandria, La., 24n., 101 and n., 

208n., 214, 244n , 257n,, 280 and n., 


Allen, Capl , 209 
Allen, Charley, 2<>4, 3-28 
Allen, Mrs, Charley, see Eugenia KO.HS- 


Allen, Henry W., 7Hn. 
Amis, Mrs Henrietta, xxi, 140. 150, 

151, 107, 204, 30<J, 841 
Amis, Annie, xxi, 140, 150, 151, 154, 

155, 235, 27CJ, 300, 323, 355, S(U T 


Amis KmmeU, x\i, 201., 300, 304 
Anchorage. IKS, I0, 208 

AzuIf'rhOtt, C<)\ , 292 

Anderson, den. tt. H M WH. 

Anderson, Mr., 201 

Anderson, Mrs,, 2f)2 

Anthony, Mr., 32, 208 

ArkanxtiSi the, xtii; at VirksburK* 188 

ami n, 
Arkansas, 83, KXta,, 15 K 213, 238, 

214, 2W, 207 and n., ^75. *77, 270, 

20 nml <K2, 2Hn,, 

2J)D, 800, :)l, n$H, 70 

u 242 ttuti H-iO; wnqu^t f, 
u,; Kederuln onptured in. 285; 

Om fulcra I*' troops i, rttfuw* tt> hur- 

renrl<*r, 3S5 Stf; ^overttor of. ttt r- 

Arkanms /Vw/, HJ8 mut n, 
Army <if Virtfitwt f *^8 OH 

Assnmplion Parisli, La , 25 and u. 

Atlanta, Ga., 285 n , 313n., 31Gn ; fall 
of, icporled, 300 ,in<l n, 

Austin, Cousin Jenny, xxi, 30, 31, 49, 
40, 71, 80, 81, 8(1, 1)1, 92, 95, 99, 
143, H5, 159, 101; marries Dr. 
Saunders, I GO 

Austin, Cousin Tttia (Letitia). xxi, 
34, 80. 81, 80, 91, 92, 9(J, 99, 143, 
145; marries Charles FnustT, 93-04 
and n. 

Austin, I'nelo, 95, 224; marries, 304 

Austin, Texas, 21-2, 255, 35(J, 357 

Aunt Luey (housekeeper), 7, 0, 42, 
51, 03, 4, 171, 331: runs away, 35; 
fitfhlh with June, 170 72; child of, 
dies \\ith measles, 110; heraten mis- 
tress, 200 

Baily, <'harles, 05 

Baker, Mr, t 100, 113, HO 

Hull's Bluff. Ya, 71 

Batiks, (Jen, N. I 1 ., xvi, 118, 278n.; 

threatens Alexandria, La,, iDtn,; 

defeat at Mansfield, U, t WO and a.; 

re treating, 28 ^ 
Baptist, meeting <f, 228; revivul in 

Paris, Texas, 2H2; eluireh in PnriH. 

Texas, 233 mitt ,; cfrurription of 

people al revival of, 2U 
Bnrr family, 235, 2MB 
Bnrr. J*, 2(U 

Barr Julia, 205. 217, 10 21. 252 
Bart, Mary, 44 
Barr, Mr, Bow (B< 17<i, 103, $15, 

2i7 m! 
Bartow* Col, F. H. 45 nnd n. 

,, 147 

M, MtM t , we Amelia Sootl 
lu*. <m, 144 
Buns, Thrrfwt, 00, H(I, 120, 144 




Bastrop, La., 205, 299 and n, 304; 
Walker's division at, 295n ; Yankee 
depredations at, 325 
Baton Rouge, La., xii, 84, 98, 115, 

128, 133n, 252n. 
Baxter, Mrs, 273 
Bayou DeSaird (La), 206, 367 
Bayou Macon, 80 and n., 89, 95, 119, 
127, 131, 137, 138, 151, 153, 163, 
165n, 168n., 169, 174, 176, 180, 
188, 189, 199, 200, 209, 267 
Bear Lake, La, 209 
Beauregard, Gen P. G. T , 92n , lOOn- 
102, 108, 117 and n., 211, 213n , 244, 
290, 327, rumored killed, 326 and n. 
Bedford, Mrs., 221 
Bell, Mrs, 141 
Bellevue, La., 222 and n 
Belmont, Mo., 69 and n , 71 
Bence, Mrs., 52 
Benton, Capt , 164 
Benton, Mrs, 318 
Benton's Artillery, 164 
Bernard, Mrs., 80 
Bethel, Va, 31 and n. 
Birchett, Capt George, 312, 315, 318, 

319, 324, 336, 341, 343-45, 347 
Blackmore, Mrs , 255 
Blackwood's Magazine, 40n., 42 
Bladen Springs, Ala, xxi, 243, 349, 


Blakely, Mr. 152, 163 
Blanchard, Gen. Albert G, 139 and 

n; troops of, 139 
Blankenship, Miss, 58, 71 
Blanton, Mrs, 139 
Bledsoe, Mr, 62, 126 
Bledsoe, Miss, 124 
Blount, Gen J. G., 253 and n. 
Bocage, Miss, 255 
Bohanan, Mrs Ann, 54 
Bolivar County, Miss, 143 
Bonham, Belle, 261 
Bonhaxn, Mrs. Mary T., 259-62 
Bonham, Tex., 244 and n., 315 
Boone, Capt, 326 
Boone, Dr , 315, 319, 330 
Boone, Miss Kate, see Kate Boone 

Ragan, Mrs. John Ragan 
Boone, Mr., 334 

Booth, Mrs., 104 

Booth, John Wilkes, 333 and n, 341 

and n. 

Booth, Pattie, 104 
Booths, the, 21 
Boren, Capt, 319, 324, 352 
Boren, Julia, 328 
Boston Mountain (Pea Ridge) , Ark , 

98 and n 

Bowling Green, Ky , 90 
Bowman, Dr, 153 
Bowman, J. H, 289 
Bowman House, Jackson, Miss, 10, 

Bowman, Hutchins (Hutch), 67, 284, 

321, 355, 360 
Boyd, Mrs, 37, 39 
Boydton Station, Va, 315 
Boyer, Joe, 52 
Boyle, Ma], 84 
Boyle, Thomas R, 94 n 
Bradforte, Col , 325-26, 339, 341, 343, 

Bradforte, Mrs , 325-26, 329, 339, 341, 


Bragg, Gen Braxton, 178-79, 243, 
253, 263; commands at Vicksburg, 

Breckinndge, Clifton Rodes, 286n. 
Breckinndge, John Cabell, 120 and n., 

126 and n., 131, 286n. 
Bridges, Allen, 132, 1 iO, death of, 264 
Bngham, Capt., 303-304 
Bnscoe, Claud, death of, 264 
Brokenburn Plantation, xi, xii, xiii, 
xiv, xv, xviii, x\, xxi, 3, 38, 48, 8, 
103, 186n, 205, 209-10, 212, 245, 
262, 809, S14n., 346, 352, 365, 368; 
area of, xi; description of, 4-11; 
house servants at, 8; flight from, 
194; My Brother returns to, 350; 
conditions at, after the war, 363; 
Stones return to, 864; overflowed, 

Broughton, Rhoda, xviiz, 375 and n. 
Bruce, Mrs., 307, S17, 323-2$, S27 
Bry, Judge Henry, $22n. 
Bryan, Maj., S66 

Buck, Capl,, 286, 329, 3$3, $37, $41, 



Buckner, Beverly, xiv, xvi, xxi, 28, 
TO-71, 73, 81, 86, 88, 01, 101, 124, 
131, 153, lotf, 164, 186, 189n , 191, 
193, 198-1200, 203, 215, 218, 269, 
317, 349, 365; dies, 309 

Buckner, Dr C B , xx, 16, 19, 28, 
70-72, 81, 92ft, 99, 101-103, 108, 
113-14, 125, 136, 140, 142-43, 149, 
153, 163, 164, 171, 174, 180, 194, 
205, 217-18, 243, 263, 265, 279, 
334, 349, 350, 371 

Buckner, Mrt, C B (Aunt Laura) , 
xiv, xvi, 11, 28, 46, 48, 70tf M 81, 86, 
88, 91, 95, 99, 101-10:5, 105, 124, 
142-43, 145, 149, 150, 152, 153, 
156, 157, 159, 160, 161, 161, 170, 
171, 172, 182, 185, 18Dn,, 192 93, 
198ff, 208, 210 11, 215 16, 218 ami 
n., 219, 243, 264 65, 269, 365; bi- 
ography, xx -xxi; dies, 310 

Buckuer, ('apt, 90, IKS, <M, tt<M, 
309, 366 

BuckntT, Col., 141, 258 

Buckner, Gen. S. B.. 3*fl, 848n., 357, 

Buckner, Maj., 800 

Buckner, Mary, 306 

Buekuer, Mr., 99 

Buekner, Mrs, 107, 120, 13, 33, 
216, 2iH, 265, S17, 3W 

Buckner, Kev. K. 0., tf33 and n. 

Bucktwr, R. T., 870 and n, 

Buekner, Mrs. R. T., w Missie Morn* 

Buhver-LytUm, Kdward George* xvhi, 

e, Ct*tt Stephen (*., l<Uln, 
Burney, Mr., 108 

hhlo, (lew. Ambrose B., HH iwd n., 

Butler, <*m. B. F. I0n. U3; " woman 
or<Itr f * of. 1 1 1 niui n.; proclnmntkm 
of, 1^5 ^<J; rejmrlwl captured, AOO 
and n. 

Butler, Mat tie, 8H 

ButtH, Mrs,, 47 

Butts, M'mcH, 48 

ButtH, Kvm 2(J4 

Byrnen, Ju<lj", 5^, 140, 870 

Bynu, Kutit% S70 
Mary, $70 

Bynum, family, 372; girls, 369; Carrie, 

371; Emily, 371 
ByvtatcrR, Dr, 233 

Camden, Ark , 222, 238, 248, 272, 277, 
281, 295n , 299n ; planters seek 
refuge at, 205 and n.; government 
&toic.s moved from, 242n 

Camp Ford, Tyler, Texas, xvi, xvii, 
257n., 283, 8*3u.; prison life at, 

Campbell, J. A, 316 

Campbell, Mr , 2 

Campli, La, I 2l4u., 217n.. 277 and n. 

Canals, xin, \v, 128, 174 ant I n.; 
Federals at tempi to eut, at Vicks- 
bur. H5 and n ; at DeSoto, 168; 
impressed slaves work on, 173 and 
n.; til Lake Providence, 175 ami n.; 
at Ash Inn, 176 

Canton, Misn,, 143, 160 

Curoutlu Mrs., 830 

Carson, family, xvii, *>!-, 4.>, 6S, 141, 
100, Ki) (Wl 8r> 

Carson, K<idie (Kthvnrd L.), xxt, 37, 
236, M), SWI, 55 57, ^7, ^70 7, 
i*74, 280, 284 88, 280, ^(i, SOB, 
310, Sl. 3^i, 887 

<aron T Dr. Jame.s (., xxi, 21, fctt, 37, 
48 44. (Mi., 84, 0,1 JW. fit), 1 34, 
ISO, 148, 1W, Mi, IKH, Km, 107> 
ttOO ^(W t ^0(J, W8, 'iHO, ^>l, SM; 
treatment of S!HV<H 41; dien, $M 

Carson, Mrs, .futnen (1. (Catherine B,), 
xxi, *1, $5, ^7, 87. J). 4t. 51, 55 
3tt, fH 59, 01 i\ n 71 73, H(h Hi), 07 
*W, 107. UK, !ffl)ff M |1. 13, Hl 
144 1$, 148 40, 131, !<U, IKH 80, 

WM 4o ( wo, m ^w>, ^.-j so, m 

^-tH 40, ^()IT,, 5H f 04, *<WfF,, ^7* - 
74, 70, W B4, 8 H7 r mi Wl- 
0^ 80B, 314 15, $*f) *il, H43, 5 
7 3ii, 331, !J3{T., 8H 43, HW, 351, 

Jimmy (Jiiw*H> xxi, 87, 80, 

88, ^H, ^>l 307, 31! 13, 310, 
37, $40, &m .'il, 334, 356 f 361 
w (JcMN*|>h). xxi, SMf, ^0 37, 
SO, 44, 47, 0, 54, ^JC, 60, OS, 05, 



67, 69, 74-75, 78, 80, 95, 97, 106, 
119-21, 124, 126-27, 129, 131-82, 
136, 140, 149, 169, 187, 248, 258, 
261, 26Sff, 269, 276-77, 282-84, 
286-87, 290, 294-96, 298, 301, 304, 
306, 308, 310-12, 316, 345-46, 350, 

Carson, Katie (Catherine B ) , xxi, 

118, 121, 188, 236, 254, 256, 273, 

274, 286, 292, 310, 321, 337 

Carson, Willy (William W ) , xxi, 131, 

230, 253, 255, 276, 279, 286-87, 294, 

296, 346, 350-51, 354, 356, 358, 361 

Carter, Bettie, 25, 78, 80, 97, 141, 145, 

296, 365 

Catlin, John D, 17 and n, 30, 45, 
53, 57, 61, 67, 78-79, 95, 97, 104, 
126, 138, 162, 176, 184, 202, 219; 
death of, 270 
Cavalier, Joe, 57, 76 
Cavalier, Mrs. Virginia, 76 
Chambers, Mr, 63 
Chambliss, Mrs., 372 
Chambliss, Capt, 300 
Chambliss, Col, 371, 372 
Chambliss, Janie, 372 
ChanceUorsviUe, Va., battle of, 212 

and n , 215 
Chapm, Mr , 52 

Charleston, S. C., 74, 204 and n , 253; 
fall reported, 244 and n.; surrender 
reported, 331 

Chattanooga, Tenn , 94n , 218n., 243 
Chickahommy, Va., 117 and n., 118 
Chickamauga, Ga., 257 and n., 258, 


Clark, Lt., 59 
Clark, Mrs., 266 
Clarkson, Mr. H. B., 23n., 32, 122, 


Clarkson, Ben, 23 and n., 24, 40, 63, 
80, 118, 120, 144, 149-50, 253, 261, 
264-65, 319, 347 
Clarkson, Will, 144 
Cleghom, Mr., 268 
Clinton, Miss., xvi, xx, 79, 186, 263; 

Brother Coley dies at, 259 fi. 
Cochran, Col , 304, 360 
Cochran, Mrs., 176 
Colemans, the, 104 

Collier, Marshall, 376 
Collier, Mrs. Marshall, see Sally New- 

Colton, Molhe, 355 
Columbus, Ky , 69, 92n., 94, 96, 98-99, 
Columbus, Miss., 93-94 
Compton, Mary, 206, 210, 213 
Compton, Nora, 210, 213 
Confederacy, lOOn , 118, 146-47, 189, 
200, 223n , 233, 278n , 279n , 281n , 
286n., 289, 301n , 31 6n , 340 and n.; 
United Daughters of, Madison In- 
fantry Chapter, xxii; United Daugh- 
ters of, Paris, France Chapter, 278n ; 
veterans of, 335 

Confederate, memorial in Tallulah, 
La., xxn; cakes, 291, 344; currency 
reduced, 278n , " worms," 298 
Congress, U S , 36 and n , 37, 180 and 

n, 286n 

Conley, Mr., 173, 184 
Conscription, 103, 131 and n,, 138, 
170, 180 and n.; Act, 95n ; militia 
drafted, 229; Act of 1802 amended, 
282 and n. 
Coopers Wells, Miss., 160; Federal 

raid on, 243 
Corinth, Miss., 108, 114, 117 and n, 

121, 149 

Cotton, xi, xii, 19, 31, 46, 53, 63, 91, 
96, 113, 128, 239n , 37n , 364, SC8; 
burned at Brokenbmn, xii; ginning 
and picking, 4; weighing, 54; burning 
of, by planter, 100-101; burned in 
New Orleans, 103-10 4; My Brother 
burns, 177-78; failure of crop of, 
S98, loss on crop of, 3G9 
Cotton Gin, Miss,, xx, 186, 187 
Cowan, William, 48 
Cox, Mr., 123 
Cox, Capt. Thomas* 213 
Cox, Sally, 312 
Crith, Shirley, 252 

Curry, William C. (planter), 16n., 3, 
S2, 38, 41, 49, 62, 80, 88, 138, 130, 
139, 146, 153, 180, 205, 208, *K> 
Curry, Mrs. William C, (Hester), 16n., 
23, 38-39, 42, 44, 58, 05, 7$, 88, 
121, 124, 130, 1S4, 140, 145, H7, 
154, 162, 211, 217 



Curry, Abe, 49-50, 53, 136 

Curry, Mrs. Abe, 114, 121, 133 

Curry, Addie, 142 

Curry, Annie, 23 

Curry, Bottle, 44 

Curry, How, 37, 8-2, 122 

Curry, Huldah, IGn , 42-43, 65, 74, 


Curry, John, 218 
Curry, Kite, Kin, 42, 58 
Cuny, Leila, IGn 

Curry, Mary, IGn., 65, 74, 141, 162 
Curry, Sue, 114, 124 
Curry, Sybelhi (Bella), IGn, 42 

Dallas, La, 105 

Dalton, Ga., 285 and n 

Dancy, Dr. David, 38n , 200 

Danoy, Mrs David, 38 ami n., 117 

Dancy, Dr, Lafayette, 128, 132 

Danoy, Chailey, 45, 40 

Dancy, Lou, 154 

Dancy, Mary, I5I- 

Davenport, Hermie, 370 

Davies, Mr., 05 

Davis, Jefferson, Ik 200 201; elected 
president, (Hi; reported fleeing to 
Tran.s-Missixsippi Dept,, 341; capture 
of, 3 Mn ; report ed not euptmed, 348; 
impriMmmcnt of, 355 and n. 

Davis, Huhy, 14 fc 45 

Davis, Thomas K,, SM In. 

DavM, Mrs, Thomas K.. w Mollie 
K. Moore 

Dawson, Furmie, 20 k 217 

Dmv.son, Nunnit\ 204, 217, 2#H 

DeFranee, Mrs., IttW 

DeSoto, La., 4<i and n,, <W, 81, H)S* 
125, 151; <Miwl at, 108 and n,; rump 
at, 171, 177 

Dearie, Mr., 188> 11)2 fig. 203 

IX'iimv Mrs., IMS in 

Delhi, Liu 140, 170, 1 88, 101 |)*>, 207, 
208, 218 nnd n,, Wl Federal troopK 
ttttiwk, HJ5 nn<l ii,: Gen, Walker 'K 
campaign from, 23Uu.; eorulilunm At, 

DeWeese, Mr, 370 

Dobbs, Anna B (Mrs. Me&gher) , xxi, 
25, 26-27, 55, 59, 64, 67, 72, 75, 
78, 80, 81-82, 89, 98, 109, 117, 122, 
131, 130, 138, 115, 153-54, 156, 257, 
269, 290, 306, 307, 314, 321, 325, 
33 1, 350, 365; Kate's letter to, 223- 
25, engagement of, 258 

Dobbs, Charles, xxi, 21, 29, 30, 4t 

Donnely, Mr., 3 IS 

Doileh, Mrs, 210 

Drake, Mr., 357 

Drew, Mr,, 63 

Dic\\ery's Bluff, Va , 290n. 

Duganne, Col A J. II , 323 and n. 

Dunlap, Hugh, 40 

Dupre, Lt Emile, 315, 322, 328, 332, 
335, 338 39, 3 * 1-42, 314, 347, 357, 

Karl, Mrs., 358 

Kighth Texas Volunteer Infantry, 212 

Eighteenth Texas Volunteer Infantry, 


Kliet, Ool, Alfred \V., 123 
Elliott, CoL, W Kllet 
Klliott, Dr., 3, 37, S)0, 10* 
Kllk l>r M 870, 375 
KUiscHu Mr., HJ3, 170 
Kllsworth, Col. K. KInier, 2i 
IClNwoith, Mr., 170 
ICnumciputiou Pntclamation, I tH; Lin- 

coln's preliminary, 1 1-5 
Kmpy, ('apt., 27*1, 283, 380 
Erwin, Cnpt., 290 
Kvuns, Mr,, 184 
KvnnH, Mrs., 175 
Kwin, Cupt,, W5, 301 

Fair Oaks, or Seven I*inc', VR. 117 
r /*///, Confederat 
Uwd, 137 

t, Aclinirol I). G., 

Delta, La., xx, xxi, I4n,, 307 
Deviitf, Dr., i, SO, 47 /J7 5B, 60, 
61, 72, 88, 128, JUW 57, I7i 


Fuulkiner, Cpt. A., 

. (*n,, 1(17 

CorwrliuN, 18 mid , (JO, 



Ferguson, Col. Thomas Barker, 101- 

102, 115, 120, 125, 140 
Fishing Creek, Ky., 85 
Florence, Ala., 90 
Florida, the, 169 
Floyd, La , 138 and n., 205, 217, 218; 

Yankee raid on, 297-328 
Fluellen, Mr, 267-68 
Fluellen, boys, 267 
Fontaine, Mrs, 106, 146 
Fontaine, Mackey, 60 
Forrest, Gen N. B., 281 
Fort Donelson, Tenn , 90, 94, 99, 116, 


Fort Hatteras, N C , 51 
Fort Henry, Tenn., 90, 94 
Tort Jackson, La, 100 
Fort Lafayette, New York, 52 
Fort Pillow, Tenn., 83, 100, 114, 117, 


Fort Sumter, S.C., 102 
Fortune's Fork Plantation, xxi, 150 
Forty-eighth Miss., Regt , 167 
Fowler, Mr, 236 
Fowler, Mrs., 254 

France, xvii, 118, 148, 293; recognition 
of Confederacy by, 239; Gen. Polig- 
nac goes to, 278 

Frank (Francesca Carrora), Kate's 
maid, 9, 13, 42, 64, 67, 82-83, 90; 
dies, 207 and n. 

Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine, 276 
Frankfort, Ky., 13n , 374 
Franklin, La, engagement near, 194n 
Franklm, Tenn, 180 and n, 205-206, 

Frazer, Charles Wesley, marries Titia 

Austin, 94 and n. 
Frederick, Md, 142 and n, 144 
Fredericksburg, Va., 163-64, 168 
Fremont, Gen J. C, 59 and n., 119 
French, Maj. Thomas B., 213 
Front Royal, Va., 114 

Gaddis, Mr, 190 
Gaither, Dr., 369-71, 877 
Galloway, Mr., 261 
Gait, Capt. J. A., 213 and n. 
Galveston, Tex., fall of, 155; recap- 
tured, 169 

Gary, Mr, 311, 316, 322 

Gary, Mrs, 311, 316, 330-31, 839 

Gee, Mary, 62 

Georgia, 160n., 249, 255 

Gettysburg, Pa., 247, 265 

Gibson, Mrs (formerly Mrs. Lane), 


Gibson, Claudy, 20 
Gibson, Willy, 351 
Giday, Capt., 342 
Gillispie, Capt, 300-301 
Given, Mr., 368 
Gleason's Pictorial^ 146 
Goddard, Mr., 275-76 
Goodrich, Henry, 55, 82, 371 
Goodrich, Mrs Henry (Mona), 82, 

372; death of, 373 

Goodrich's Landing, La., 22 and n , 
24, 30, 47, 50-51, 66, 75, 98, 118, 
122-23, 239n., 300, 370, 373; Negro 
troops at, 297n. 
Grand Gulf, Miss, 20C and n. 
Grant, Gen. U. S , xxi, xv, 173n , 174n., 
175n., 177n., 178 and n., 203, 206n , 
215-16, 227, 278, 316; assumes com- 
mand and plans to bypass Vicks- 
burg, 168n.; treatment of civilians 
by, 175; projects canals, 175n.; in- 
vades Mississippi, 211, 21 2n ; opinion 
of Negro soldiers, 21 9n.; before Rich- 
mond, Va., 284; in Georgia, 285 and 
n.; besieges Richmond, Va., 290 
Graves, R. W. 15n , 171-72, 179, 205 
Graves, Mrs, R. \V. (Anne), 15 and 

n,. 86, 120, 141, 181, 185, 366 
Graves, Ann, 15n. 
Graves, Emma, 15n. 
Graves, Ettie, 15n. 
Graves, Eugenia, 15n. 
Graves, John, 182 
Graves, Lamartine, 15n. 120 
Greeley, Horace, 14, 21, 205, 208 
Green, Gen. Tom, 278 and n., 279 
Green, Mol, 364 
Green, Rosa, 324, 364 
Greenville, Miss., 134, 186, S77 
Grenada, Miss., 108 
Griffin, Mr, 291 
Grissman, Mrs., 255 
Grissman, George, 251 



Gnssman, Sally, 252, 255, 202, 328, 
348, 354, 357 

Guerrillas, xv, 103-104, 120, 196 and 
n , 296, 297 and n , 298, 316 

Guisenberg, Mr, 235 

Gunboats, xii, xui, 90, 91, 100-101, 
104-105, 117, 125, 128, 142, 146, 
21Sn , 280, 298; blanassas near 
Vicksburg, 69 and n ; before Natchez;, 
107; at Vickslmrn, 111; at Good- 
rich 'i Landing, 122 23, Atkansas en- 
gages Federal fleet in Yazoo River, 
133n ; Federal, withdraw up Missis- 
sippi, 135 and n ; Federal reappear, 
130 -37n.; fired on by civilians at 
Omega, 140, between Ome^a and 
Youngs Point, 159; Johnny prisoner 
on, 165-06, Federal fleet ut Omega, 
165 and n : Confederate Alabama 
and Floiitla in Gulf of Mexico, Kif) 
and n; Federal, captured, 175 70 
and n ; Federal, before Grand Gulf, 
206 and n. 

Gusline, Mrs. Sophia, 3<Jn.. 104, 155, 
6*, 306, 306 

Gustine, Duncan, ISO, 122, HO, 145, 
166, 172 

Gust me KIIu, 166, 26 1, 800 

Gustine, Lem, 56, 355 

Gustine, Mary, 36 and n., 52, 65-60, 
127, 135, 155-56, 164, 166, 176, 205, 
222, 23X, 204, 27(5, $06; uuirr'uw 
of, 234; death of, 300 

Guyon, ('apt. Louis, 374 

Hampton Roads, Va. 100, 3 Kin, 

Hand, Mr, 325 

Hannah, Mr., 148 

Hardin, Mr., 838 

Hardiion, Bt-rtjamm (planter), xxi, 
ttl, 5S, 4ft 51, 37, Ml <!<, <H, H, 
ISO, 188. 130, 1M. 108. 171 7S, SOI, 
SiH, ^Hi), MH; honte ritid*<l by 
Yankees, HKJ i>7 

HanitHon. Mr. Benjaniiu (Mnry <X 
E.)> xxi, 13 SI **, ^1, , JHJ, SS 
35, 5 f 4t, 47 40, 50. 5tt, <J$, 
<W C. 7-i, 8, 80, 100 W, H^ 

ii. NO, i^, m, i:i. 16s, IHS. 

IH5, H5 V 197. SOI. S0^ SIH, fltf; 
death of. ^9 

Ilardison, Alice, 40, 44, 64, 129 
Ilardison, George, xxi, (U-G5, 108, 107 
llaidison, Lou, 53, 64, 150 
Ilardison, Henry, xxi, 4J) 
Hardison, Joba, 47 
Harper, Capt , 138, 145, 148, 1M, 101, 

212; death of, 230 
Harper, Mrs Capt, SIS, aSO, 300 
Harper, Sophie, SI 2, 230, 333 
Harper's Monthly, 14, 58n 
Harper's HVrA///,' 14, 24, S70, S? 
Harper \s Ferry, Va., 14S and n , SI (n. 
Hams, Gen N. II . 331 35n 
Hams, Mr., !>3, 175 
Harris, Mr. Hans, 177 
Harrison, Col. Isaac K.. 83n , S0 and 

Harrison's Brigade, xx, S05, '*!00, S08, 

SJ)9n, 301, iWi; opi?animl, Sl)3n, 
Hatcher\s Inn, Ya , 33(1 
Haws, Gen. J M., SIS 
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, xviii, 51 
HuyeH, (Jen., 8 Mi 
Hay wood, Muj., 11)3 
Haxelilt, Mr., HO. 1S1, 131 
IlaachU, Mrs,, 114 
Hendenson, Mr M ?8 
Henderson, Mrs., 155, 373 
He\silt, Mr., U 17 
Hill, Gen. I). II.. 107 
Hill. Col., 318, 331 
Hill. Mr*, Col., S55, 331, S37 
Hinds County, MUSK., xxi. Hfl* 377 
Holbury, Mr., SS, SI, CO, 7S, KS, US, 


Hcilimry, Mrs., 40, 4S, HO 
Holtmry SiUly. 40 
Holmes, Antmidii Jtilm, (htu^htcr of 

Kute Stone Hulnn's, x%ii 
Hohutw, <Jen, T, H,. S57n. 
Holnus, Kmmet, xxi 

s, Henry, W and t. 

H, Henry Bry (Lt. Ifohtu*), xvii ( 

Xxi, HSS find it., 3SK and n., 3SP, 

Julin Bry, H 
, Kiite ttry, xxi 
. Mary Jww% xvii, xxiii, 
mid n, 



Homer, La., 142, 204, 255, 288, 337, 
349, 367; Kate visits in, 293, 295, 

Hood, Gen. John B , 312, 313n. 

Hornwasher, Mr, 21, 24, 26-27, 30, 
129, 190 

Hubler, Mr, 32 

Huey, John, 305n. 

Hull, Col, 252, 255, 294, 296 

Hull, Mrs., 252-53, 255, 266, 294, 314 

Humphreys, Col B, G , 81 

Hunt, Dr., 261 

Hunt, Mollie, 154 

Hunter, R. M , 316n 

Indian Territory, xvi, 232; battles in, 
83 and n; Federal forts, 232n 

Inflation, price of pork, 53; cost of 
flour, 145, high cost of clothing, 147, 
brandy, cost a gallon, 159, 164; 
charges and rate of exchange, 194 
and n ; price of carpeting, 220; pi ice 
of shoes, 231; high prices, 232; price 
of book, 234, charge for room and 
board, 236, price of shoes, 240; pi ice 
of wood, 255; co&t of clothing, 267 

Irvine, girls, 335-36, 352, 358 

Irvine, Lizzie, 330, 838-39 

Irvine, Lt, 352 

Irvine, Neta, 328, 343, 353 

Isaacson, Maj., 292 

Island No. 10, 96 and n., 100 and n , 

Jackson, Miss , xv, 52n., 99, 101-103, 
110, 124, 143, 212 and n., 215, 259 
and n.; fall of, 211 and n ; Federal 
raid on, 243 

Jackson, Tenn , 99 

Jackson, Andrew, 100 

Jackson, Dr T. M., 156, 157 

Jackson, Gen Stonewall, 114, 118-19, 
129; death of, 211f ; life of, 313 

James, Maj , 372 

Jayhawkers, 173, 175, 223, 229, 283, 
345, 846 

Jeff Davis Guards, xx, 16, 20, 117 

Jeffries, Miss, 162 

Jeffries, Mr., 182 

Johnson, Andrew, 341, 352 

Johnson, Capt , 330, 331 
Johnson, Dr., 279, 283 
Johnson, Mr Matt, 75, 205, 206, 230 
Johnson, Mrs. Matt, 75, 147, 173 
Johnson, Mrs Narcisse, 134-35 
Johnston, Gen Joseph, 92-93, 179, 
211 and n, 229, 285 and n, 313; 
rumors of sunender, 333; rumor of 
last stand, 335; surrender of, 335n , 

Johnstone, Capt William H , 160 
Johnstone, Mrs William H, 142-43, 

149-50, 159-61 

Journal, manuscript of, vii; entries in, 
vu; Kate's introduction to, vn; edit- 
ing of, vn; notes to, viii; characteri- 
zation of Kate hi, xviii; importance 
of, xix 
Journal of Commerce, 14 

Kaiser, Albeit A, xxi, 21, 26-27, 30, 
49, 56, 79, 80, 92, 249-51, 254, 365 
Kanawha Valley, 142 and n. 
Kansas, 173, 253n. 
Keene, family, 372 
Keene, Mrs , 107; Mrs Bowdin, 369 
Keene, Mary, 372 
Kennedy, Mr, 362 
Kennedy, Mrs., 362 
Kentucky, xh, 98, 146, 174, 281 
King, Capt , 268, 272, 275, 276, 279 
Knoxville, Tenn., 117 
Kunckers, Dr , 332-33 
Kup, Capt,, 47-48 
Kurrie, Mr., 301 

Lake, Mr, 63 

Lake Providence, La , 51, 80, 128, ISO, 
136; Federal troops at, l(J8iu 175 
and n ; Negroes in Federal camp at, 
176; levee al, 184; Negroes camped 
at, 184 

Lake Providence Cadets, 15 

Lake Washington, Miss., 134, 140 

Lamb, Charles, xviii, $55 and n. 

Lamar County, Tex., 225, 238 29, 231, 
232n., 233, 235, 238, 2*0, Stiff., 
247, 254, 285, 851, 359; opinion of, 
223 and n.; people in, 227; Stones 
return to, 361-62 

Lawrence, Dr,, 255, 258, 275 



Lawrence, Mrs , 267, 269-70, 273, $79, 
328, 332, 343, 300 

Laurence, Lela, 288 

Lea, Capt Joseph C , 39G, 297 and n 

Lee, Gen Robert E , xvii, xviii, 139 and 
n, 51 In., 227, 230, 353, 310, SlOn , 
in Virginia, 533; before Richmond, 
38 i; at Richmond, 390; Minender 
of, 331 and n., 333; surrender terms, 
833 n ; troops suuendered, 33(J 

Lee, Miss Kitty, 140 

Lccsburcr, Va, 09, 71, 81, 103 

Lena Rivers* 33 

Levees. Ion, 1C, 33, 47, (57, 103 10 K 
100, 108-109, 111 -13, 13,; and n,, 
17L 18 1, 190, 318n. 

Levy, Mr., 068 

Levy, Mrs., 353, 35<I, 3<0, 379, 283, 
343, JUt, 3.13 53, 3f>7-T>8 

Levy, I'M ward, 351 

Levy, Lionel, 353, 854, 357 58 

Lexington, Mo , 57 and n. 

Lexington, Va., 170 

Ligniski, Mrs., 341 

Ligruvki, Charlie, #37 

Lily, Dr., 43. < r l, 50, 58, 6(1, 03 <K 
1^3, 78 79. 83, 8t, KS, 1)7, US. US) 

Lily, Mrs t .v<'< H<M Xorrw 

Lily, M^s lal <( 89, 97 

Lincoln, Abraham, M, JO, Sn,. 37, 
!U, rin. f I4. JUOn.. :U1 and n,: 
t k ftV<t of eNvtion, ItU; pretiniinary 
Knmm'ipatiou IVoclanmtion, I K"> nml 
n.; KimuKMpatitm I'rnclaittutKtiu HH; 
rqw>rt*<l us lir*tutor, 180; rumor of 
death, S3 ttnd it. 

IJttteir* Lit'htr/ Ayt\ 14, HI ami n., 31 

Little, Mai.. 3M 

Little Rwk, Ark,, Itil, ^5; fall <>f 

Ixoncy, Morgan H, 
L Mr,, IH 

xi, xtu xv, 
03n,, !(, !(W, III, 
333, 337, 3H3, * 
T>, e(? t 378 and 

eulogy to, 100; honor of, 174; part 
of Tians-Mississippi Department, 
207n ; rumors of reatlmussion, 330; 
Quantnll in, 25 3n., refugees from, 
330, tioops in, to sin render, 
335*30, governor of, at surrender 
conference, 343n. 
Louisville, Ky., 140 
Lovell, Gen/ Mansfield, 3*4 
L'Oveitnre, Toussanit, 313 and n., 314 
Lowry, family, 103, 305 300, 307 
L<mry, Alfred J, ">3n , 17f> 
Lo\\ry, Mrs A. J, 30 1 
Lo\\ry, Al, 53. UV> 37, 140 1-1, 3o5 
Lo\vry, C'arne ((!arohue) , ,)3, 149, 
153, U3, 30(5-307, 31 t, 318, 373, 
317, 333 33 

Lo\\iy, Frank, 135 $(, 140 
Ixwry, Olivia, 30(J 
Luea,s, Mr,, 151 

r^ Va., 3M, 318, 310 

MH 1 ly, Mj. & Mrs, K, !> 313 
MoTardk Maj , 101 103 
MK'lellau, Gen. (icorw B,. , r >9 nnd n., 
H5 and n,, Ji, 13(K 1IU 33 

, (n. Jf. A* 
L Mr., !n< 
t (ion. Ilfnry 
Honham, Tev,, 3U; arrests (jtian- 
trill, W5n, 
Mc(5w, Mr., il. ^>. 130, H>>, 140, 

103, 370 

MHtloasun, Mr,, KVi, 3t?!t 
M<-(irnw, Sally, JtOit WU 

, f 3W fe S47, 3/JOn,, 

l, SMMs 

$07, sis, ao. sat, sw is, str>, IUH, 
95*2 rs, s*it 

McGregor, Mr,, 4S 4k 370 
Mtthttcmh, Col, I), Xn HH uud . 
MeInt(Nh, Mrs, (Son,. t07 
Mrlnto?lt t Mr. (5i.. 107 
Mdntyrc, Mins, r'i 
MrNniry, Su<\ J07 

Mr,, 8i, Ht fit, W*. US t ti<) 
'ilh, Col,, Wt 

. Mr,, 170, JHS, Hm <I7 
MrKw. Mr, M. H,. W. 4(J, 4$), 5H, 
rt, I <W, (IS. 78, UH, W7, ISO S7, 
147* ltf, 1/J/I /! 



Nailor, Dr., 248 
Nailor, Frank, 20, 47, 62 
Nailor, Kate, 17, 20, 24, 28, 30, 44, 
47-48, 50, 63, 71, 81, 93, 105, 111- 
12, 118, 163, 248, 258, 350, 351; 
dies, 276 

Nashville, Tenn., 37 and n., 90S , 96, 
104-105, 116, defeat of Gen Hood 
at, 313n 
Nashville Female Academy, 3, 37n., 

90 and n 

Natchez, Miss, xiii, 39, 65, 111, 115, 
168n, 174n.; surrender, 107 and n. 
Natchitoches, La, 278n 
Negroes, xv; freed, return to La , xviii, 
363, freedmen demand high wages, 
368, die of cholera, 372; see also 

Neil, Lt., 326 

Neily, Mr John, 92, 138, 140 
New Carthage, La , 174 and n , 176, 
186n, 21 7n; proposed canal at, 

New York, 54, 269, 276n 
New York News, 317 
New York Tribune, 14 and n, 176n., 


New York 22nd Cavalry, 308 
New Orleans, La, xi, xh, 13F, 43, 
52n., 53-54, 59, 66, 84, 89, 103- 
105, 107, 109, 111, 115, 144, 151, 
178, 253, 268, 279, 315, 321n , 343n , 
351, 353, 357, 361n , 366, 368, 377; 
fall of, 100 and n.; Mumford inci- 
dent, 126 

Newman, family, 372 
Newman, George R., 25n , 69, 122- 

23, 132, 162 
Newman, Mrs. George R. (Ann), 25 

and n., 80, 269, 293, 296, 314 
Newman, Annie, 124 
Newman, George, 25n. 
Newman, Lizzie, 25n., 124 
Newman, Sally, 376 
Newman, Walter, 25 and n. 
Newton, Albert B, xx, 3, 11, 13-14, 
16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25-27, 29, 31, 
35, 42-45, 56, 62; dies, 264 
Newton, Mrs., 139, 147, 806, 353 
Newton, Celeste, 22 

Newton, George, 45 

Nicholson, Anna (Annie), xxi, 26, 58- 

59, 61, 271, 286, 310 
Noland, Mr Joe, 125, 177, 182 
Nolley, Lt, 164 
Norfolk, Va, 106 
Norris, family, 85 
Norns, Mr., 89 
Norris, Mrs 89, 291 
Norris, Emily, xxi, 26, 59, 78, 117, 

123, 151, 153-54, 271, 280, 283, 

286ff, 306-307, 325, 372 
Norris, Lambert, 161 
Norris, Robert, 21, 25-27, 47, 49, 65, 

67, 72, 74-75, 78, 80, 93ff , 117, 119, 

123-24, 128, 131-32, 248, 257, 264 
Norris, Rose (Mrs. Lily), 67, 80-81, 

84, 88-89, 93, 97, 382, 338-39 
Noms, Thekla, 59, 64, 82, 307 
Nutt, Dr., 127 

Nutt, Mrs, 140, 142, 175, 370 
Nutt, Miss, 142 

Oak Ridge, La, 300, 3$2, 364; Kate 
visits near, 293 and n.; Confederate 
troops at, 294 

Oath of Allegiance, 105, 126, 175 and 
n., 181, 349 

Occoquan Creek, Va., 68 

Omega Landing, La., \\, 14 and n., 
19, 35, 44-4J, 53, 67, 70, 82, 91, 
107, 123, 125, 127-28, 138, U<2, 151, 
164, 176, 181; Federal gunboats at, 
130; shelled, 140; Federal imlx>ats 
at, 159; Federal fleet at, 103; Federal 
headquarters at, 178 

OIT, Miss, 52 

Ouachita River, 169, 188, 19-2, lOSn., 
205n., 297, 304, S05n M 3n.; pro- 
posed bypass, 168n. 

Overseer, position and duties, 5~6; 
wife of, 15 

Owen, Mrs, 61, 187 

Owens, Mr, 22 

Oxford, Miss,, 186 

P., Dr., 249 

Paducah, Ky., 105, 281m 
Pargoud, Col. J. Frank, 148 and n., 
155, 159 



Parsons, Col. M. M., 29G and n. 

"Paul Vane," 301 and n 

Payne, Mrs, 13J, 139, 1 H), 1,51- 52, 

277, 281, 283-84 
Pecan Grove, La., 108, 11 MS, 128, 


Peck, Mr \V. P., 1 1, 3f>, 3(Jn , 58 
Pemberton, Gen John C, 1 211 and n, 

244; surrendor of Vieksburg, &J9u. 
Pennsylvania, S L 27, 233, C 243 
Pernt GuauL, 17 
Peters, Mr. 340 
Petersburg, Va., 3H 
Philadelphia, Pa., 13H, 151; rumor of 

capture, 30 
Philips, Mr , ^)7 
Picayune, 14, 3/>, HH, 3-2 hi. 
Picrson, Mr, 3,71, 353. 357 
Pier$on\<t Mayazint\ iW8 
Pm Hook, La , Yankee raid on, '307 
Pine Bluff, Ark., xvi, 74, 75, 07n., 

Pleasant Hill, La., iRHn,, eRO; battle 

Of, AVI 

Poe, Kdjrar Allan, \vni, 14, &) 
Pohgnuc. (Jon Caimllt* do, fit battle 

of Mansfield, La.* J*H am! n. 
Polk, Carrie, w<*<* Carrie Lo^ry 
Polk, Oil., *77 
Polk, (Jen, Loonidas, 83 
Polk, Lt.. 143 

Polys, ('apt., 3#), 331, 31W, 330 
Polys, Mrs. ('apt., 3^5 
Pope, G<n. John, !Mi; rt'tjnrsts (Jin. 

Kirhy Smith*!* sumn<l<T t K) and n. 
Port Gibson, Miss., v ill 
Port HutUon, Ln M I ft In.; sum*n<!**r of, 

^0 anti n. 

Port lloyuK 8.O.. 71 
Portor, (*a|>t, 74 

Potonmr Itivor, HH, 141 tUJ 17, 140 
Po\\dl, I/^vls, BHn. 
Prentic**, Mr., *r>J1, ^0; <H*i. ^4 
Prrntiec*. Mw s *!4 fl8. <*M< 4<H, ^06, 

ai, <H7 HO, Wtf, i, SA>, ^ 4 

S3*, 311, 3*1(1, 373 
Prniliei', Iforati', iH5 
Pn^ton, Ctn. Willimn H. t 3 
Price, (3*-n. Hl 
, Martin, 3 

Prisoners, Confederate, captured at 
Milliken's Bend, 137 and n ; ex- 
pected exchange at Vicksburg, 141; 
exchanges arrive in Vicksbuig, 143 
and n ; Yankees at Virksburg, 150, 
civilians taken, 100; at Vicksburg, 
aSO; at Camp Fold, 357, 383, L 379; 
destitute condition, 4 20t); paiolos ox- 
pec-ted, 331 

Pritchard, Capt , iU7 

Proctoi, Mrs, -210 

Pufth, Florence (Mr^ Morrison), !^06 

Purvis, Maj., -300 

Quanlnll, AY. C,, in Texa^, ^53 and n. 
Quays, Amy, 3W ^(?, 3-*H 
^<'<- (/ //?< HXvf, 133n. f i7(Jn, 

Hagnn. funnily, HI 

Ra^an, Aslihuni. x\, 3, 15fT., *2Hfl,, 
13f! M OniF., 70, 77, 80, 84s 8(J, 11 , 
IS, m ^'2; cliw. UK (JO; rharurtw 
of, (>i); tnemor t \ of, 130 

Katfnn, Bohannn (Tnole Bo), vii, vx, 

. inff.. 10. oo, w, jm ;n, ;n. *m, 

R 47, f>(, (H, 71 7'i. HI. 8,'. S, 
8H. H^, 100, III ir. I10 t H, 18, 

M-.I, M7, MO. iri. urn, i me. IHO, 

4 217, "2W, ^K1, iiOit, 1. JJW 41. 5U. 
av,, <JS, 570, 77; leuvvs fur \'ir 
tfima, J7; promoted, *iJH; \vnunt{i % t! t 
pmmotiMi to Capt.* iZ^O; cot*- 

u Mlani, ! 1 1 

i, Katt* Boour (Mr., 

75. **T.. ^77, ^Ht, f>7, 
l. ,W>, ^tU, m 8*1, JW4, 
KS; nmrri<% 71: nrriv^M in 

, John, Sr, rOther PH), fl V>, 
70, 74 77tf.. 84, 147. lft 57, W*. 

, Mw. John, Sr. (Other Mn), 

Rn^itn, John (Usi<*l* Jcibnuy), 4$, 40, 
HO, 147. lf>7, ^4tr,, *e^>, *??, ^H4. 
507, 81 K 8!, 8W, 8-H, .*W, SMKI. 8W8; 
tiw, 74} nmv^j* tn T^xtw, 


returns to Tyler from Austin, 282; 
goes to Austin, 856, returns, 357 
Ragan, Sarah Louise (Sally), 157, 242, 
284, 289, 307, 317, 344, 354, 361, 

Raids, fear of, 119, Negroes taken 
from plantations, 127-28, 175; 
Yankees rob Mr Newman, 132; 
Yankees expected, 148; railroad de- 
stroyed to Delhi, 365, on Buckhorn, 
1G5-66, Yankees at Dr. Devme's, 
172, Yankee parties in swamp, 
174; Yankees seek cotton, 178; 
expected at Brokenburn, 179, raiding 
party passes Brokenburn, 179; 
Brokenburn visited, 181; Yankees 
take Wonka, 182-83; by soldiers and 
Negroes, 184; Hardison's home 
sacked, 195-97; cutting off supplies, 
204, by Yankees at Cooper's Well, 
Miss., 243, reported, 296, at Floyd 
and Pin Hook, La , 297, 298; danger 
past, 300; reports of, 301; Yankees 
at Monroe, 320 

Railroad, xiv, xv; Vicksburg, Shreve- 
port and Texas, 47; to Jackson, 
Miss, 101, 103; Vicksburg, Shreve- 
port and Texas, 103-104; Vicksburg, 
Shreveport and Texas, bridges 
burned, tracks destroyed, 165 and n.; 
Stones ride from Delhi to Monroe, 
192; Monroe to Delhi, 219; Houston 
and Texas Central, 288n. 
Randall, Col Horace, 214 and n. 
Randall, Maj, 292 
Rapidan River, 277 
Raymond, Miss, 211 
Reading, Mr. R, G, 22n., 52, 69-^0 
Reading, Mrs R. G., 22 and n., 50, 

52, 64-65, 91 
Reading, Jenny, 65 
Reading, Sally, C5 

Red River, xvi, 194n., 2S9n.; bypass 
route, 168n.; Queen of the West 
captured in, 176 and n.; campaign 
of, g78n; Federal fleet in, 280n.; 
skirmishes on, 286 

Reed, Julia, 22, 30, 44, 52, 55-56, 64r- 
66, 77ff, 85, 88, 91, 106, 112, 115- 
16, 118ff, ISO, 134ff., 189, 141-42, 
145, 149, 152, 156, 176, 205, 238, 

247-48, 266, 275, 277, 281ff, 293, 
303, 307, 322-23 

Refugees, 250, 255, 267, 291, 293, 294; 
river planters move to hills, 139, 
at Delhi, 191; on cars at Monroe, 
192, bound for Texas, 194; at Tren- 
ton, La, 204, 215; attitude toward, 
at Tyler, 238 
Reigart, Mr , 296, 374 
Rhett, Ma]., 346 
Rhodes, Mr., 186 
Rhotan, Mr, 372, 373 
Richards, George S , 16n , 23, 40, 65, 

130, 195-97, 315 
Richards, Keene, 173 
Richards, Mrs Keene, 369, 372 
Richards, Mary, 154 
Richards, Saiah, 16n. 
Richards, Sue, 121 
Richardson, Judge N., 208, 288, 367 
Richardson, Mis. Napitandi, 181, 206, 

211, 279-80, 287-88, 367 
Richardson, Air A., 63, 181 
Richardson, Miss W., 181 
Richmond, Ky , 142 and n. 
Richmond, La,, \\\, 15 and n., 38n., 
57, 89, 127, ISOn., 173, 186n., 217n., 
218 and n, 365 

Richmond, Va, 16, 2(5, 30, 35, 41, 44- 
45, 56, 115n., 116, 110, 129n., 140, 
167, 215-16, 278, 308; Uncle Johnny 
at, 243; beseiged 290; surrender of, 
331; retreat from, S3S 
Ricks, Ben, 102 
Roach, Wilkins, 105 
Roach, Mrs. Wilkins, nee Kate Xailor 
Roane, Gen. J, Soldtan, calls on Stones, 

267 and n. 

Roane, Mrs. J. Soldeiu 283, 53, 358 
Roanoke Island, N. C, 90, 04 
Robert, Eliza, SSI 
Roberts, Janie, 320, 328 
Rodney, La, 107 
Rowecrans, Gen. W. S M 59 and n., 


Ross, Gen. L. S., raids in Miss., 28In. 
Rossman, Mrs., 20, 49, 144, 851 
Rossman, Eugenia, 144, 864, S28, 351 
Roundaway Bayou, La,, S8n., 150n.; 

proposed canal into, 168n. 
Rucker, Mr., 175 

Rutherford, Mr, 98, 99 
Rutherford, Mrs, 98 

Salt works, 170, 175, 194, 200, 205, 
207; slaves at, 204 

San Antonio, Tex, 280, 318, shipping 
cotton to, 326 

Sandford, Molhe, 32S, 334, 330 

Santa Rosa Island, Fla , 60 and n. 

Saunders, Dr., 100, 161 

Saunders, Mrs , .we Jenny Austin 

Savage, Mrs. Elizabeth, xix, xxi, 21, 
24ff., 30, 41, 58-59, 01, 03, 07, 69, 
73-74, 77-78, 80ft., 85, 80, 03, 07- 
98, lOt, 107, 118-19, 122-123, 131, 
136, 1S8, 141, 14-5, 148, 151, 153, 
161, 249, 260, 274-75, 280-81, 28 J-, 
286, 290ff, $97, 306-307, 311, 315, 
320, 325, 327, 329, 330, 334, 330tt'., 
342, 244-45, 350, 350 

Savannah, Ga., H4-45, 312, 367 

Sawyer, Charles Carroll, S23n. 

Scarborough, Mrs., 21 1 

Scarborough, Tubithia, 51, 215 

Schools, 37, 50, 54, OJ), 71, 7<>, 80 '>. 
84-85, 80, 109, 121, 131, 170. 271, 
273-74, 284, 2H6, 310, tH5, 844; 
tutors, xi; n<*ed of teacher, 58; 
arrival of Mr. "Wilkinson, 70; Wilkin- 
son's first attempt teaching, 71; 
"Wilkinson's failure, 73; tutor's salary, 
75; effect on Johnny, H7; starts 
under Stenokrath, 90; Stockton 
arrives, 91; position sought, for Mr, 
Stockton, 1)2-93; tit Clinton, MIM*., 
186; Paradise, 225; Liberty, $34; 
disturbance, at Tyler, 249 f*K WM> 
254; Kaiser opens tiew school, 25 I - 
55; Kale teaches Emily French, 287*, 
Uncle Johnny's, 357: near Clinton, 
MWH., 368 

Sohullx, Mrs,, w Lou West 

Point, Mr., 173 

Scott, Mr. t 80, 166, 366 

Scott, Mw, Mary J., 41 

Scott, Mr, Tom, W) 

Scott, Mrs, \V., 70, 206 

Boott, Amelia, 41 and n t 54. $40, $64, 
6$, $66 

Scott, Charley. 31, HO, 139, 140 141, 
268; die** 36*1 

Scott, Gen. \Vmeld, 44 

Scott, Thomas, 41n. 

Scale, Mrs, 217, 304, 367 

Scale, Lucy, 217, 304-305 

Seaton, Mr, 350 

Sebahlion, Mr. Tip, 52, 140 

Second Brigade, Texas Volunteer In- 

fantry, 21 4n 

Second Mississippi Battalion, 121 
Second lle^t , Virginia troops, SlSn. 
Selrna, Ala, 30i> 
Selser, Mr,, (JS, 11J) 
Selser, Eugene, dies, 141 
Serena, Aunt, 34 

Seven Days, battle of, 13 and n. 
Seward, ^V. II, 3HJn., 3S and n. 
Sliakespenie, William, xviii, S70, 489, 

3(J5; copy of, at $14, 34 
Sharpslmrtf, Md,, 144-40, 107, ftI4n. 
Shelby, Gen. Joseph, 343n.; refuses to 

.surrender, 33fln.; t^capcs to Mexico, 

Shepard, Col. Isatic J, 

Shenuau, (ieiu William T., xiii, xv, 
108u 177n., 81$, 35^; lan<it at 
Millikeirs Bend, 105n.; reported 
death, fH7 

Shields, Gen. Jumew, llf> 

Shiloh, Terni,, 100 and n., 101. HJO 
and n. 

Shortages, xii; of garden wed, 18; t>f 
Food and clothing milwtitute-H for, 
100 10; of food. KS; of flour, 145; 
of clothing* 147 and n.; mihKtitutrs 
for bttvcrntfttt and tthinw. lH() f 18 1 
and n.; of quinine, 185 and n.; of 
clothes, 180; of proviHioiw in Missis- 
ippi, $0; of fcHKl. ^58 Mh of tax! 
and clothhiK, ^00 tuul n.*, of flour, 
318; h<nemde cnndlcs* JJIH; 
ttiten for ink and shoe 
.W and *; of clothe^ 1U7 

Shreveport, Ln., ^<IK, il 

n ; 

^ 83, 94. 304, 
5, 330n,, 

354 53, 36,1 00, 370; 
of TranH-MtSHWHippi l)ept, nt, 
tlm*ntened by Federals, #7H 
wit-reader of tr<n>p* At, 
momliwition nt, 340 and n, 



Sickness, 42, 46, 55; scarlet fever and 
chills, 24; scarlet fever and dropsy, 
31; chills and fever (swamp ievei), 
33, 37, 39-40, 48-49 and n, 51, 
o7, 59, 63fi, 126, 128, 132-33, 287; 
\vhooping cough, 53, 54; spasms, 
60; typhoid fever, 62; diphtheria, 
83; neuralgia, 87-88; colds, 92, 127; 
mumps, 123; pneumonia, 156 and n., 
207, 252, 264; pneumonia and treat- 
ment of, 156-59, 160, 161, 162; in- 
flamed eyes, 168, 254 and n.; among 
Yankee prisoners, 173n , 174n ; 
leprosy, 239; in Tyler, 283; tooth- 
ache, 305; measles, 310; sore throat, 
323; cholera, 372; yellow fever, 373 
Sigel, Gen. Franz, 93 
Simple, Nannie, 304 
Skipwith's Landing, Miss,, 134 
Slaughter, Mrs , 235, 240 
Slaughter, Belle, 241 
Slaves, xi, xii, xiv, xvi, xviii; xix; 
living and working conditions of, 
4-5; traders of, 5; children of, 6; 
provisions and clothing for, 6, 7, 
152; house servants, 8-11, 78, 179 
and n, 337-38; sickness of, 21, 24, 
42, 43-44, 107, 130, 173 and n; 
birth of, 21, 38, 59; runaways, 28, 
35, 88, 170-71, 179, 183, 204; death, 
31, 45, 46, 87, 126, 128, 146, 176, 
180, 204, 207, 224, 272, 337, 356; 
demoralization of, 33, 35, 175, 202; 
music and dancing of, 33, 38; antici- 
pated uprising of, 37; holidays for, 
38, 77, 127; religious instruction of, 
41; concern for and care of, 46; 
stealing of, 53; passes for, 75 and 
n.; division of families of, 84, 86; 
with Brother Walter, 187; left at 
Brokenburn, S14n.; health of, 226 
and n., 285; care of by Dr. Carson, 
236; Texans eager to hire, 242; 
light duties in Texas, 259, 294; 
loyalty of, 398; to be freed, 335; 
peaceful, 351; insubordinate as f reed- 
men, 362; desire to return to Louisi- 
ana, 362; number returned to Louisi- 
ana, 363 
Slaves, in war, body servants, 11, 

207n., 312; work on fortifications, 
83, work on levees, 106, 125 and n.; 
instructed to run from Federals, 125, 
taken by Fedeials, 125, 127-28; tent 
to back country, 127; return fiom 
Federals, 134; sent to Bayou Macon, 
137; return from Bayou Macon, 
138; escape to Federals, 138; pre- 
liminary Emancipation Pioclamation 
freeing, 145 and n ; moved inland, 
169; moved to Delhi, La , 170; taken 
to salt works, 170; taken by Fed- 
erals, 175; refuse to go with Federals, 
183; looting by, 184, 193, 195-96, 
212; abuse of owners by, 18.5, 195, 
205; moved away from Federal lines, 
188; flee with Stones, 191; hold 
whites hostage, 196; armed, 202; at 
salt works, 204, 205; run out of 
Federal lines, 207, 209-10; lined by 
Federals, 208; buy provisions from 
Federals, 210; killed in battle, $16; 
as soldiers, 218; fighting ability as 
soldiers, 219 and n ; saved from 
capture, 243; pride in military serv- 
ice, 287 

Slicer, Dr., 126, 132, 141, 142 

Smith County, Tex., 249n. 

Smith, Betty, 319 

Smith, Capt., 267-68, 275, 283, 324, 
S27, 352, 358 

Smith, Capt \V. A., 213 and n. 

Smith, Capt 209-10 

Smith, Dr Jim, 140, 312 

Smith, Florence, 328 

Smith, Gen., 150 

Smith, Gen., 231, 241-42, 853 

Smith, Gen. A. J M lands Federal 
troops at Milliken's Bend, 165n,; 
in command, 178n. 

Smith, Gen. Edmund Kirby, 377, 
280n., 342n., 343n,; commands 
Trans-Mississippi Dept, with head- 
quarters in Shreveport, 56, 257n ; 
visited by Mrs. Stone, 256; order 
signed by, 288; to be deposed, 336n.; 
delays surrender, S40n.; urges resist- 
ance, 340n.; surrenders, S43n.; con* 
ference at Marshall, Texas* 34$n/, 
reported robbed, 346 



Smith, Gen M. L , commands Federal 
troops at Milliken's Bend, 178n 

Smith. Mr., 154, 311, 325 

Smith, Mr., 207, 214, 226, 228, 231, 
233, 241-42, 245, 256-57, 264, 273, 
286, 326, 332, 353, 362 

Smith, Mrs, 227, 231, 235, 238, 241, 
214, 361ff 

Snodgrass, Mi., 41 

Somerville, Lt, 267, 208 

South Carolina, 71n , 101, 102 

Southern Illustrated AVuvt, L 24Sn. 

Southerns', Co B, 48 

Spain, Mrs, 181 

Spann, Muss, 57 

Spraguc, Col J T., 344n. 

Springer, Miss, 51 

Spiing Bank, La, 350 

Springfield, Mo , 19, 50 and n, 

Squireb, Maj , 3^2 

St. Char, Capt., $51 

St. Clair, Mr,s., 318, 353 

St. LOUH, Mo., 34, 59u , 54, 266, 204 

St. Joseph, La , 80 

SL Mary, La., salt \u>rks at, 104 

Staevy, Misses, 210 

Stark, OoL regimeut of, 101 102, 205 

Steely Gen. Frederick, 480 ami n., !, 
284; commands Federal Iroops at 
MilHkwi's Bend, 178n. 

StenekruUu Mr., 80, 90 08, 96, OH, 
118, 153 

Stephens, A. H.. 31(Jn, 

SUverw, MM., 175, 184 

Stewart, Dr., 494 

Stockton, Mr., 85, 01 08, 105, 13K, 

Stokt% Mr., 117 

Stone. Awuda SUH&U Kaftan (Minmmt>. 
xi, xiv, xvu xvn, xviii, S, 10, IK 
13, 15. 17, 18. 40ff., 40, 4ttflL 47, 
50, 54&, 61 ( 63 64, 671!., 77f!,, 04, 
07, 99, 101, 103-104, 100, 100, H5 
10, 118-10, 144. 145, 140, 181. 18H 
85, 137, 18941, 14440, 14tt-flO, 
15S T 15750, 1<J1 6^ 165, I00,, 
170, 18, J8 and n. t 

86, 290ft', 296, 209-301, 303. 306- 
308, 310-12, S14ff, 335ft', 3Uff, 
347, 350ff., 355ft', 372-73, 376-77; 
biography of, xx; clothing slaves, 
7; pi election of slaves, 8; religious 
instruction of slaves, H; vsick, 60; 
chaiactcr and girlhocxl of, 70, siek, 
1">6, 128, 132, to Vicksburg. 155; 
returns from Virkshurg. 156, <lis- 
chaises over.seer, 163; visits Tyler, 
230; pleads release of o\erseer from 
military smuv. 231; visits Shreve- 
poit, 25(>; applies for My Brother's 
transfer, 273; teatl popular novels, 
3*26; reads Shakespeare, 3(>j; visits 
in Vicksbur^, 375 

Stone, Amanda H (Little Sister), 
xiv, !, il , IK ^it, 25, 127, 30, U7, 
40, 49ff., 57 51), 63 64, 73, 80-8*2, 
8t, 86 88, W), 106, 115, 120 $1, 
126-27, Ml 13834, 140-41, 145, 
158, 155, 1<, 170, 185. 188, IHDxi . 
101, 193-04, Ifl6> $00, 208, 0<* 407, 
2H, $16, 230, -288, *8(J, *2H 45, &5t, 
56, 7S, ^75, 1177, ^86, SHfl, !Jlt) 
U, 316 17, 881, $43 48, 854 55. 
,W 3l 6, 804 65, 876, 377; bi- 
ography of, xx 

Stone. Colemau (brother Ooley), xii* 
8. 18, SOflf., 526 f 8. 40. 4^2 f 44fl., 
51, 53, 55 ff. 68 64, 67, ()&, 78, 
80, 84 88, 87. Dtf 08, 0."> t i>, J>K 
00, 10-e, 107, U^, H7, UJ) SO, 144 
. 131, 184 86, 140. 144, MO, hV>, 
I7t, 180, 189. 104. 406, $17, &*H, 
*W. 30, 458; death of, xvi. 4^>; 
jfoinn army. 04: ill, 131); Mti*r re- 
pcirting de<ith of, 450 64; ohnrneter 
(F, 44 (J3; injuntti, 403 

St<nto, Jntnrx A. (4imny), xiv, 1.^. 
18. "41, 48 4K JJ, 8H. 45, 4H 40, 
511!,, 58 5D, OS 6#. 07 f 7-80, 10(J, 
U4, 114 10, 141, 147* ISO, l4, KH7, 
114, 140 47, !/S*'6$, I/J5, KJO, 101 
04, tOK 170 71, 175, 180ru 11 P8, 
1J)7. 108 ftml H,. 4(K), 404, 4()0' 407. 
4MMO, 440, 444, 440, 44H, 4S4. 
48<t, 481), 447, 450, 451 flL 457 5H, 
4<W, 407, 470 71, 474, 477 47tf 80, 
4fl4 ##, 408 iH), $tM, 



304, 308, 310, 312, 314-16, 321, 
323, 325, 334, 347-49, 351, 353, 
358, 360ff , 365, 368, 376, biography 
of, xx; has pneumonia, 156-59; goes 
to Navasota, Tex , 228; returns from 
Navasota, 240; joins army, 293 and 
n.; birthday of, 303; letters from, 
320, 337; returns home, 346; studies 
medicine, 370, quits medical school, 

Stone, John B (Johnny), xiv, 19, 
20-21, 24, 28, 30, 45, 47, 49-51, 
53-54, 57, 60, 62ff, 67, 75, 79-80, 
87, 116, 120-21, 129, 134, 137, 141, 
153, 155, 162, 164, 170-71, 173ff, 
183-85, 189n , 191, 193, 198 and n , 
199-201, 204, 214, 217, 219-20, 233, 
235-36, 244-45, 248ff, 254, 256-57, 
264, 268, 270-72, 277, 285ff, 292, 
300-301, 303-305, 307-308, 311, 
316, 318-19, 325, 327, 330-31, 333, 
335, 337-38, 346ff, 357-59, 362, 
364, 375-76; biography of, xx; taken 
prisoner, 165, experiences as prisoner, 
166; trip to Monroe, 238; returns 
from Monroe, 247; reads Shake- 
speare, 365; trouble with Negro ex- 
soldier, 368; sent away, 368; m 
school at Clinton, Miss, 368; in 
school at Oxford, Miss., 371 

Stone, Sarah Katherine (Kate), age 
of, xi; begins Journal, xi; attitudes 
of, xii; on shortages, xiii; has Christ- 
mas party, xiii; on beginning of 
Vicksburg siege, xiii; reports Federal 
foraging, xiii, on terror of civilians, 
xiii; Federals sieze favorite horse of, 
xiv; anxious for loved ones, xiv; 
menaced by armed slaves, xiv; flees 
from Brokenburn, xiv; m peril, xiv; 
reaches Delhi, La., xiv; temporary 
refuge of, at Monroe La., xv; arrives 
in Texas, xvi; moves to Tyler, xvi; 
on Yankee prisoners, xvi; praises 
Southern strategy, xvn; meets Lt. 
Holmes, xvii; returns to Louisiana, 
xvii; marries Henry Bry Holmes, 
xvm; authors read by, xviii; as 
diarist, xviii; importance of Journal 
of, xix; biography of, xxi-xxii; an- 

cestry of, 7; on slavery, 7-8; begins 
Journal, 11-12; on Horace Greeley, 
14; bids of farewell to brother and 
uncle, 17; on secession, 19; prays for 
Cause, 25; studies French, 29; reads 
Poe, 29; reads Scott, 33; on own 
childhood, 34-35; describes self, 35; 
patriotism of, 36; returns from Vicks- 
burg, 46; studies Spanish, 48; leads 
Hawthorne, 51; mourns Ashburn, 
68; comments on Uncle Johnny, 75; 
observes twenty-first birthday, 79; 
reads Bulwer-Lytton, 82; sympa- 
thizes with slaves, 84; patriotism of, 
85; on Sir Walter Scott, 87; protests 
inaction, 87; reads Jeremy Taylor, 
88; describes burning of cotton, 100- 
101; flees from Vicksburg, 103-104; 
on shortages, 109-10; praises 
Southerners, 110; sees first Federal 
gunboat, 122-23; woiries about 
soldier brother, 133-34; reports ru- 
mors of Federal raids, 1S7; reads 
Bulwer-Lytton, 138; visits in Vicks- 
burg, 142; on Lincoln, 146; learns 
to weave, 146; reads Thackeray, 
148; prepares to flee from Yankees, 
169; concerned for runaway slave**, 
171; on Gen. Grant, 175; expects 
Federal attack, 179; loses favorite 
horse, 182-83; defies Yankee soldier, 
182; describes civilian conditions, 
184 and n.; describes fleeing ci\ ilians, 
191; held prisoner by armed slaves, 
195-97; flees from Brokenburn, 
197fL; locates near Monroe, La., 
20S; reads Keats, 206; on deuth of 
Stonewall Jackson, 211; meets Gen. 
Walker's staff, 213-14; on journey 
to Texas, 220-23; on Texans, 23- 
27; rents books, 233-34; describes 
Texas, 234r-39; moves to Tyler, 
249; describes difficulties of refugees* 
249-51; reads Washington Irvm& 
256; mourns death of Brother Coley, 
262-63; celebrates Christmas, 209; 
observes twenty-third birthday, 272; 
reports battles of Mansfield and 
Pleasant Hill, La, 77ff.; visits 
Yankee prison camp, 88; tutors 



French, 287; visits Rusk, Texas, 
288; attends Masonic celebration, 
92; returns to Louisiana 011 visit, 
293; returns to Texas, 304-306; re- 
ports peace rumors, 316; meets 
Mollie E. Moore (Davis), 321; 
meets Lt. Holmes, 332; reports 
rumors of Lee's surrender, 330-31; 
reads Goethe's Faiist, 332, on Lin- 
coln's assassination, 333, confirms 
Lee's surrender, 333-34; despairij of 
defeat, 334; on rumors of her en- 
gagement, 338; is bitter about defeat, 
339-40; on conditions in Trans- 
Mississippi Dept, 340-41; debcubes 
reaction to defeat, 340-42; disagrees 
with Lt. Holmes on matrimony, 
344, 345-46; says good-bye to Lt. 
Holmes, 347-48; reports My Broth- 
er's return, 348-49; reports arrival 
of Federal troops in Tyler, 351; 
leaves Tyler, 359; returns to Lamar 
County, 361; describes destitute con- 
dition of Stones, 362-03; arrives at 
Brokenburn, 364; describes return 
trip from Texas, 366-07; sees Lt. 
Holmes, 367; visits New Orleans, 
368; on conditions after the war, 
368-69; moves to Wilton Planta- 
tion, 871; determines to be more 
appreciative in the future, $78 
Stone, Walter F. (Brother Waller), 
xii, xv t 16, 19 !, 34, 38, 41, 43, 
45, 49, 55, 57, ,>9, 60 01, 64, 69 
70, 7$, 79 80, H<*. 84, 87-88, OS, 

09, 108 104, 107-108, 111 13, 115 

10, m H4ff., 134, 134-85, 187, 
180 40, 145-40, 149, 155, 108. 180. 
18<>, g$0, $50, *0*, 310, 340; death 
of xv, 180-88; leaving for army, 
14$ 44; joins army, 150; bravery 
of, 408 

Stone, William Patrick (Father), xx, 
34, 8.1 58, 70 

Stone, William R. (My Brother), 
xii, xviii, 8, II, IHff., *CK *8 80, 
84, 3fl, 4I 4* 44 -45, 47. 50, ff., 
00-61, 63, 04, 6> ffl). 71, 81, 85, 
00, 10$, KW, URt, HI 14, Wff.. 
IIP, Hi, 1*5, 1& 1S8, 136, 187, 

141, 145ff, 152, 154-55, 103, 108, 
172, 176, 178, 186, 189, 215-17, 
243, 248, 256, 264-65, 272, 276- 
77, 281, 284, 290, 291, 308, 315, 
317, 322-23, 334, 336, 341, 343- 
44, 346-47, 350-51, 355, 357-58, 
360, 362, 370-71, 373-74, 375, 370- 
77; biography of, xx; prepares to 
join army, 13; joins Jeff Davis 
Guards, 16; leaves for Virginia, 17; 
home on sick furlough, OS; returns 
to regiment, 68; news of, 134; 
wounded, 141; promoted, 15J); re- 
poited killed, 164; returns on fur- 
lough, 167; wounds of, 167; moves 
slaves inland, 170; returns to Vii- 
ginia, 174; burns cotton, 177; re- 
ported wounded, 247; ew from, 
273; birthday of, 303; paroled from 
Army of Northern Virginia, 344zi.~ 
335n.; returns home, $48-40; diffi- 
culties on trip home, 34i); leaven for 
Louisiana, 350; returns to Texas, 
362; on Texmts, 363; reports con- 
ditions at Brokenbum, iUfS; arrives 
at Hrokenburn, 304; lures Negro <*v 
Holdicra, 368; faee crop failure nud 
overflow, 372; rents Hose Hill Plan- 
tation, 575; crop failure of, 373; 
tries farming, 375 

Stone, Mj. William M., ^1!$ and . 

Storey, Mr., !6iJ> 170 

Storey, U,, 286 

Street, ('apt., 277, *!> 

Si reel, Julia, tr Julin Hwl 

Sugar ("reek, Mo. % M 

Surrutl, John H., !Wi* au<i u. 

Swain, Mrs,, S8* 

Swamp Kan gem 47 

Swwt, ("apt,, 48 

Sweet's Artillery Co,, 1H, 07 

TnHulah, IA., vii, x\, xxt, xxii. l^, 
15, 104. 147, aOTn.; PMlcrul burn 
(le{H>t At, 137 

Tnylor, Dr, J. Tlew, IJ1 17.>, 177 
Tnylor, Mrn, J, ThtiiM, Si 
Taylor, Col Mm (t., 1(H. im> 
Taylor, Gen, Kichfcnl. xvi, 


Mansfield, La , 27 Sn ; surrenders at 
Mobile, Ala., 342n. 

Taylor, Mrs Felix, 306 

Templeton, Mr., 150. 153, 188, 189, 

Templeton, Mrs, 189-90, 267, 393, 
297, 299-300, 302-303, 308, 364 

Templeton, Col , 293-95, 297, 300, 304, 
320, 367 

Templeton, Emma (Emmie, Em), 
190, 294-95, 298ff. 

Templeton, Mary, 190, 294-95, 315 

Tennessee, xii, 83, 92 and n , 96, 143, 
180, 186-87, 217, 239, 281 and n, 

Tensas River, 32, 80n , 165 and n ; 
proposed canal into, 168n 

Tensas Swamp, 201, 365 

Texans, 213, 218, 286, 317, 319, 334 

Texas, xiv, xv, xvi, xvii, xviii, xix, 
lOOn., 103, 104, 201, 204, 206, 
214 and n , 216, 217, 218, 219, 220, 
223, 224, 225, 227, 228, 230, 233, 
239, 241, 242, 244 and n , 246, 249, 
253, 254, 255, 257, 266, 267, 269, 
274, 278, 286, 288, 291, 294, 295, 
300, 305, 307, 314, 321 and n., 
323, 358, 363, 365; regiments from, 
130; plans to go to, 189; citizens 
fleeing to, 191; refugees to, 194; 
proposed journey to, 207; slaves 
sent to, 209; military units from, 
212 and n; Titus, 220; Stones on 
way to, 220; Stones in Lamar Co., 
223 and n.; Gracy Rock, 225; Tar- 
rant, 225; Hopkins Co., 225, 358; 
wild flowers of, 226; climate of, 227; 
difficulty of life in, 227; Paris, 228, 
229, 231, 223n , 242, 245, 361; Ly- 
donia, 228 and n , 363; beaux in, 
228-29; Grimes Co. 228n ; Nava- 
sota, 228 and n., 238; Blue's Prairie, 
229, 230; Blossom Prairie, 231-32; 
Liberty, 234; opinion of, 238; refu- 
gees in, 238; Jefferson, 239, 320; 
Marion Co., 239n. ; Winnsboro, 240; 
Honey Grove, 240, 244; Fannin Co., 
240, 244n; Austin, 242, 255, S,>6, 
857; air of, 242; Charleston (mihta 
camp), 242; life in, 243, Bonham, 
244 and n. 253 n., 315; Tyler, 

249ff.; Smith Co, 249n ; Quantrill 
in, 253 and n ; Gilmer, 255; Upshur 
Co., 255n; Camp Ford, 257n.; 
Hempstead, 257n.; Camp Groce, 
257n ; invasion of, threatened, 278 
and n; Marshall, 278n , 316, 332, 
S43n ; San Antonio, 280, 326; Rusk, 
280, 287; Cherokee Co, 280; Hen- 
derson, 288 and n , 332; Red River 
Co., 289 and n.; Navarro Co , 307 
and n ; Quitman, 318 and n ; Hous- 
ton, 321n., 361; flowers in, S2G; 
Brazos River Valley, 327; Pitts- 
burg, 336n ; Corsicanna, 336n ; 
governor of, at surrender conference, 
343n ; flowers in, 343-44; Kaufman 
Co., 355, Hockley, 357, 358, 360 
Third Brigade, Texas Volunteer In- 
fantry, 214n. 
Thirteenth Texas Dismounted Cavalry, 

212 and n 

Thirty-first Louisiana Regt., 137 
Thompson, Mr, 175 
Tibbetts, Dr., 176 
Tibbetts, Mrs, 107* 176 
Tibbetts, Hiram, 163, 176 
Tiger Rifles, 17 

Tilghman, Gen. Lloyd, 211, fclSn. 
Tooke, Mrs., 329, 330, 338, 339, 353, 

355, 356, 357, S58, 361 
Trans-Mississippi Department, xiii, 
xvi, 841, 351; area and strength of, 
174-75; to be moved, 44; head- 
quarters in Shreveport, 257n ; 
soldiers cannot leave, 265; head- 
quarters in Shreveport threatened, 
278n.; soldiers of, criticized, 270n ; 
Medical Department of, in Tyler, 
279n; postal division at Marshall, 
Tex., 284n.; Ordnance Department, 
29S> 348; surrender of troops in, 
S86n.; situation in, ftt end of \var, 
S40n.; final surrender of S-iStu 
343n.; chaos in, after surrender, 345: 
siezing of government property in, 
346; robbing and pillaging in, 340 
Trenton, La,, 103 and n., 194, 200. 
2Q7n., 208n M 304; Stones locate near, 
192; Confederate troops near, 80. 
Tucker, Henry, 



Tupelo, Miss, 117n, 136, 319 

Turner, Mr., 114 

Twentieth Mississippi Regt., 143 

Twenty-second Texas Volunteer In- 
fantiy, 213 and n 

Twenty-eighth Mississippi Cavaliy, xx, 
xxi, 263, 266 

Tyler, Texas, xvi, six, 133n , 230, 
235-36, 238-39, 241, 244, 248, 250- 
52, 254-55, 256, 258-59, 264ff., 260, 
271-73, 275-76, 280, 282ff, 290-91, 
293-94, 300, 306, 308-309, 310, 313- 
14, 316, 318, 320ff., 825-26, 328-30, 
332, 335-37, 339, 342, 344-45, 3*7- 
48, 350, 352, 353IT, 362-63, 365- 
66; Stones move to, 249 and n.; 
Ordnance Depot at, 292; Stones 
leave, 359; Kate regrets leaving, 360 

Uncle Bob (slave), 198, $00, 202, 
31 4n, 315, 346; pursues runaway, 
171; character of, 365 66; saves 
valuables, 366; give.s Kate money, 

Uncle Howies (gardener), 10, 38, 64, 
108, 153, 177, 314 and n ; ^secures 
pass, 75 and n.; drives Jersey wagon, 
2S7-38; dies, 337 

Uncle Tom (slave). 10, 118, 119; 
cheats Negroes* 147 

rn<Jr 7'0;V Cabin, 313n. 

UtK, Mr., 171 

Valentine, Murk, Jr, (Lt,), xxi, 18, 
20-28, 40, 4*. <tt 04, WJ, 77, 97, 
105, I IMS. 115 16, 118, 140, JH 
I4J, 135 -5o\ 159, 101, H4, 8t& 
*I 17, 87, (W, 34ff 37$ 73, 370; 
raiara Hubampthm of com, 94 05; 
joins company* 188; ratigiiH office, 
Kftfc. I (IS; taken prinoner, 173; returny 
from prison. SKI 

Valentine, Mark, tfr,, xxu H, 4$, 77, 
95, 07, 104-105, 113, HI, 168 05, 
174 -75, 177 7ft, 18* HS, 414, $lf>, 
iSO, *&, 87, 510, S7; troulile with 
N^xroesi, 17; rrult of raid, 180 

Valentin*. Mr, Philo, 104 

Van Doni, (Jim. Karl, HJ8 69, 174, 
104; tfaek Ftankltn, 

leaves for Tenn, 187; attacks Fiank- 
lin, Tenn., 205 

Vaughn, Mr, 241, 244 

Vaughn, Mrs, 227, 235, diet,, 238 

Vaughn, Bobby, 254 

Vaughn, Kitty, 238, 254 

Vicksburg, xi, xti, xv, xvi, xix, xx, 
xxi, 13, 16, 18, 20, 28ff, 41, 45, 
46 and n , 47, 49, 52-54, 63, 68- 
60, 72, 80-81, 83-84, 91, 94, 1)6, 
101, 103-104, lOOHf, 112 13, 117iT, 
122n, 123n, 124, 126-27, ISOn, 
131-32, 134, 136, 142, 144, 146 47, 
149, 151-52, l.j4-5<), 159, 162, 165, 
J69, 174 and n., 175, 176 and n., 
178, 180 SI, ISO, 190n., I94n., ,)., 
206 and u, 215-16, 210n., 227, 235, 
248 49, &), 264, 267, 273, 276, 2!)0, 
297n., 309, 311 12, 341, 346, 349- 
50, 352, 364, 370-71, 375, 377; .siege 
of, xv, surrender of, \v; National 
C/ometery at, xv; fortification of, 
105 and n.; refuses to surrender, 
111; firing al, 114; damage of, 115; 
Federal eanals at, 125 and n. the 
Arkansas at, 133 and n.; Fe<Ural 
fleet withdnm* from, 135 and n.: 
return of Podoral fle<*t lo, ISO 87, 
l$8, 141; exchange t)f prihonerw at, 
148; Federal prisoner** tn, 150; ferry 
at, 157; preparation for attack on, 
ICSti,; plans to bypa.sM. 108 and n,; 
fortification of. I OK; Immbardment 
of* 184; Grunt hosiers, 211 ami u., 
"2l2n,; Mirrender of. si-^O mul n., V 230; 
low of, 233; y*!low fever epidemic 
at, 373 

Vienna, La., 7(J, 1K15 niul n* 

Virginia, xii, xx, U 1JJ *W, 9 105, 
114, 1^>, H() t I !JW, ll. 170, 
180, 213 and n ^5, 2;l, ^-K 8, 

Volunteer Southrons |r| x\, IT*. 

Waddell, Dr, 108 
\Vmldell, Mrn., $10 
\VacUey, fantily, 35, ^10 

r (Col,), ^m, WO, 40 



Wadley, Mrs., 203, 212-13, 215, 219- 
20, 233, 305, 366 

Wadley, Loring, 205 

"Wadley, Mary, 210 

Wadley, Sarah, 210, 219, 224, 235, 
255, 265, 288, 305, 325, 332 

Wadley, William, 208, 215, 218, 219, 

Walker, Gen. John G , xv, 102n , 207 
and n , 208n., 212 and n., 244n , 
343n.; staff of, 213 and n.; biography 
of, 213n,-14n.; movement of divi- 
sion of, 217n., battle of Milliken's 
Bend, 218n.; in Monroe, 235; cap- 
tures Negro soldiers, 239n ; division 
moves to Ark., 295 and n. 

Walker, Dr and Mrs , 339 

Walker, Mr., 114 

Waller, Capt., 344, 348, 351 

Walnut Hill, Ark., 224 

Warren County, Miss, 20, 376 

Warrenton, Miss, 108, 114 

Washington, D.C., 57, 58, 297-98, 
341 and n.; rumors of capture, 230 

Watson, Mr., 173 

Webster (dining room servant), 10, 
19, 22, 28, 33, 42, 67, 91, 103-104, 
130, 152, 159, 162, 166, 183, 197- 
98, 203; care of mistress, 46; claims 
Brokenburn, 193; deserts Stones, 
199; joins Federal Army, 208 

Weir, Dr., 312, 315, 318-20, 322, 325, 
328, 330, 332 

Wells, Mrs., 266, 285, 328, 336, 343 

Wesley (body servant), 17, 18, 56. 
174; separated from My Brother, 

West, Lou (Mrs. Schultz), death of, 

Whig (Vicksburg), 14 and n., 35, 39, 

85, 98, 111, 115, 117, 146 
White, Mr., 52 
White, Mrs., 238, 234, 239 
White, Capt., 136, 377 
Whitmore, Lou, ISO, 132 
Wilderness, Va, 308 
Wilkinson, Mr. (tutor), 62, 71ff., 79, 

Williams, Mr., 132, 250, 258, 307, 322 

Williams, Capt, 348 

Williams, Gen Thomas, digs canal at 

Vicksburg, 125n. 
Williams, Lt, 61 
Williams, M. C, 51 
Williamsburg, Va, 116-17 
Willow Bayou, La., 32, 50, 55n., 58, 

70, 72, 92, 124, 168n , 177 
Wilmington, N. C., surrender of, 331 
Wilson, Col. William, 60 and n. 
Wilson, Julia, 315, 217 
Winchester, Va., 39, 114 
Winu, Dr., 334 
Wmn, Mrs, 369, 370, 371 
Winnfield, La , 170 
Wonka (Kate's horse), 19, 53, 67, 

72, 154, 166, 208n ; taken by 

Yankees, 182-83 
Wright, Col., 166 
Wylie, Capt. Jack, 295, 300fi\, 310, 

315, 320, 332, 360 
Wylie, Dr, 267, 270, 273, 302 
Wylie, Mr. W., 160, 238, SOO 

Yankees, xiv, xvi, xvii, 44, 84-85, 91, 
93, 100, 103, 111-12, 115, 119, 122, 
124ff., 132, 134ff., 145, 148, 150, 
154, 160, 163, 165-66, 168-70, 172ff., 
190 and n., 191, 193, 197ff., 208-10, 
217-18, 224, 23-2-34, 239-40, 24$- 
43, 249, 257-58, 265, 2G9, 273, 277- 
78, 283-84, 290, 206-98, 300-301, 
313-15, 320, 354-25, 331, S39-41, 
348, 351-53, 357, 363-04, SGG--G7. 

Yazoo City, Miss , xxi, 102, 18$n. 

Yohola, Opothele, 83 

Yorktown, Va., 10$, 105, 115-16 

Young, Dr M 34, 194, $00, 205, 21-2, 

Young, Mrs., 214, 16 

Young, Alice, 214 

Young, Carrie, 203, SIS 

Young's Point, La., 168n,; Federal 
gunboats at, 159; Federal troops at, 
177 and n. 

Zollicoffer, Gen. Felix Kirk, 8r> ami n. 
Zouaves (New Orleans), 17 

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